kloetzel&co | kloetzel&co. writing
A list of Melanie Kloetzel's publications based on her practice-as-research work with kloetzel&co.
kloetzel&co. writing scholarship publications
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Site Dance: Choreographers and the Lure of Alternative Spaces

Book

Site Dance: Choreographers and the Lure of Alternative Spaces

Edited by Melanie Kloetzel and Carolyn Pavlik, University Press of Florida, 2009

Available in hard cover, paperback, and eBook

Abstract

In recent years, site-specific dance has grown in popularity. In the wake of groundbreaking work by choreographers who left traditional performance spaces for other venues, more and more performances are cropping up on skyscrapers, in alleyways, on trains, on the decks of aircraft carriers, and in a myriad of other unexpected locations worldwide. In Site Dance: Choreographers and the Lure of Alternative Spaces, the first anthology to examine site-specific dance, editors Melanie Kloetzel and Carolyn Pavlik explore the work that choreographers create for non-traditional performance spaces and the thinking behind their creative choices. Combining interviews with and essays by some of the most prominent and influential practitioners of site dance, they look at the difficulties and rewards of embracing alternative spaces. The close examinations of the work of artists like Meredith Monk, Joanna Haigood, Stephan Koplowitz, Heidi Duckler, Ann Carlson, and Eiko Otake provide important insights into why choreographers leave the theatre to embrace the challenges of unconventional venues. Site Dance also includes more than 80 photographs of site-specific performances, revealing how the arts, and movement in particular, can become part of and speak to our everyday lives. Celebrating the often unexpected beauty and juxtapositions created by site dance, the book is essential reading for anyone curious about the way that these choreographers are changing our experience of the world one step at a time.

“Kloetzel and Pavlik have created a valuable resource, documenting a wide range of site-specific dance events through a combination of interviews, practitioners’ accounts, and stunning images. This volume raises useful questions about the politics of art’s interventions into the public realm and gives insight into the pragmatic challenges of making site dance.”

Fiona Wilkie, Roehampton University

Dance Research

Articles and Book Chapters

Site, Adapt, Perform: A Practice-as-Research Confrontation with Climate Change

Dance Research (Edinburgh University Press)

Volume 35.1, Summer 2017

https://doi.org/10.3366/drs.2017.0186

Abstract

In recent years, arts festivals around the globe have become enamoured of touring, site-based performance. Such serialised site work is growing in popularity due to its accessibility, its spectacular characteristics, and its adaptive qualities. Employing practice-as-research methodologies to dissect the basis of such site-adaptive performances, the author highlights her discovery of the crumbling foundation of the adaptation discourse by way of her creative process for the performance work Room. Combining findings from the phenomenological explorations of her dancing body as well as from cultural analyses of the climate change debate by Dipesh Chakrabarty (2009), Claire Colebrook (2011, 2012), and Bruno Latour (2014), the author argues that only by fundamentally shifting the direction of the adaptation discourse – on scales from global to the personal – will we be able to build a site-adaptive performance strategy that resists the neoliberal drive towards ecological and economic precarity.

Articles and Book Chapters

Site and Re-Site: Early Efforts to Serialize Site Dance

Dance Research Journal

Abstract

In this article, I investigate the historical precedents of site-adaptive dance. After walking through the mobility discourse as applied to site-specific art by such scholars as Miwon Kwon, Fiona Wilkie and Victoria Hunter, I examine the mobile site works of North American choreographers Ann Carlson, PearsonWidrig DanceTheater, Eiko & Koma, and Stephan Koplowitz as exemplary of early attempts to take site dance on tour. Finally, I argue for the value of employing the lens of adaptation to analyze such works, both for the field of site performance and for the larger cross-disciplinary dialogues that could be activated.

DRJ Cover
Dances Duet with the Camera

Articles and Book Chapters

Location, Location, Location: Dance Film and Site-Specific Dance

Dance’s Duet with the Camera: Motion Pictures (Palgrave Macmillan)

Edited by Telory Arendell and Ruth Barnes

Abstract

Dance film and site-specific dance are two dance genres that are seemingly at odds. Dance film aims to communicate through a two-dimensional display; site-specific dance pursues tangible, real world connections to three-dimensional sites. Dance film brings audiences up close to both dancing bodies and places without the audience having to move a muscle; site-specific dance expects audiences to physically integrate with the details and totality of a place. Yet, these two ‘divergent’ genres have much more in common than may at first be apparent. Through an examination of the history of these genres as well as through a look at each genre’s techniques, processes, and current productions, I argue that one of the features that helped define both forms– a turning away from the proscenium arch and a turning towards alternative contexts – has continued to connect them. In this chapter, I investigate how dance film and site-specific dance, in embracing both alternative contexts and altered perspectives on the body, have helped to ‘democratize’ Western dance practice on a societal level. Building on a previous argument pointing to the significance of place in the dance film genre, I demonstrate how dance films, similar to site-specific dances, have dehierarchized the relationship between trained and untrained movers, as well as between performers and place, effectively transforming our notions of how movement can connect populations to one another and to the environments in which they reside.

Articles and Book Chapters

Site-Specific Dance in a Corporate Landscape: Space, Place, and Non-Place

Moving Sites: Investigating Site-Specific Dance Performance (Routledge)

Edited by Victoria Hunter

Abstract

A revised version of Kloetzel’s New Theatre Quarterly article from 2010 is now available in Victoria Hunter’s new book Moving Sites: Investigating Site-Specific Dance Performance.

 

Site-specific performance relies on the terms space and place as markers for discussing a performance’s engagement with a site. However, practitioners and researchers are often disgruntled by the limitations such terms impose upon site-specific performance – as was Melanie Kloetzel, in the creation of The Sanitastics, a site-specific dance film created in the Calgary Walkway System. In this article, Kloetzel examines how theorists have struggled with space and place in the last four decades and how bringing in the perspective of the body allows us to reassess our assumptions about these terms. As she analyzes her creative process, she discovers the restrictions as well as possibilities in space and place, but she also notes the need for Marc Augé’s idea of non-place to clarify her site-specific efforts in the homogenized, corporate landscape of the Walkway System.

Moving Sites by Victoria Hunter
Icarus Fried (the film)

Articles and Book Chapters

Bodies in Place: Location as Collaborator in Dance Film

International Journal of Performance Arts and Digital Media (Routledge)

Online – July 2014, Print version – Spring 2015

Abstract

“Bodies in Place” examines the significance of the performer–place relationship in dances created for the camera. By looking at her own dance films as well as those from Maya Deren to Isabel Rocamora, Kloetzel uncovers the deep import that location has taken on in the dance film genre. Owing to the near absence of spoken text, the filming strategies used in the genre (including frequent use of close-up and long shots) and a keen interest in narrative, place has become not only an essential marker for comprehension of the films, but a partner alongside and in dialog with a responsive, phenomenal body. Employing theories from site-specific performance as well as from the growing scholarship around screendance, Kloetzel scrutinizes what occurs to the performer–place relationship during the filming, editing and viewing processes, in order to demonstrate the direct, kinesthetic impact that a de-hierarchized performer–place partnership can have on viewers across the screen divide.

DOI:10.1080/14794713.2014.927712

Articles and Book Chapters

Have Site, Will Travel – Container Architecture and Site-Specific Performance

Conversations Across the Field of Dance Studies, vol. XXXIII, 2013

Abstract

“Have Site, Will Travel” explores the cultural fascination with mobility and how it intersects with both architecture and performance. Using her site-adaptive work, Dwindling Dispute TKO, as a lens to examine this fascination, Kloetzel turns her eye to mobile architecture, in particular transformed shipping containers, to peer more closely at how site performers can use portable structures for creative inspiration. With a critical look at a particular event, the containR project situated as part of Calgary’s annual Fluid Festival, she observes that the works created for containR struggled in their ability to access the deeper meaning of portable architecture in our culture. Ultimately, Kloetzel wonders if it possible for performance to enter the larger discussions of international trade, material goods, and exchange. Or do these prefabricated, monotonous, and seemingly “non-specific” boxes inherently resist such a connection?

Conversations Across the Field of Dance Studies
New Theatre Quarterly 102 cover

Articles and Book Chapters

Site-Specific Dance in a Corporate Landscape

New Theatre Quarterly, 26:2 (May 2010) – Cambridge University Press

Abstract

Site-specific performance relies on the terms space and place as markers for discussing a performance’s engagement with a site. However, practitioners and researchers are often disgruntled by the limitations such terms impose upon site-specific performance – as was Melanie Kloetzel, in the creation of The Sanitastics, a site-specific dance film created in the Calgary Walkway System. In this article, Kloetzel examines how theorists have struggled with space and place in the last four decades and how bringing in the perspective of the body allows us to reassess our assumptions about these terms. As she analyzes her creative process, she discovers the restrictions as well as possibilities in space and place, but she also notes the need for Marc Augé’s idea of non-place to clarify her site-specific efforts in the homogenized, corporate landscape of the Walkway System.

DOI: 10.1017/S0266464X10000278

Articles and Book Chapters

A Trek Through Pseudo-Utopia: Irvine, CA and beyond

EnterText, vol. 5 no. 2, December 2005 – Brunel University London

A creative, physical, and theoretical exploration of urban planning and geography in southern California using the theories of Michel Foucault, Edward Soja, and David Harvey.