Choreomania: Scenes of Ecstasy and Revolt

  • Lecture Kélina Gotman
  • Free entry upon registration
  • Bucharest International Dance Film Festival (BIDFF) #8

90 min.


About the lecture
A crowd; a fête; a monk; a king deposed; a woman in pain, alone, then gathered and soothed with music and friends. These are scenes of “choreomania”: neither an epidemic disease nor a bizarre phenomenon, but clusters of intensity, what I have also called choreozones. For thousands of years, women and men have released tension and strain, anger and joy in moments of convivial play, or achieved states of ecstasy in order to find other orders of truth and of justice. And yet, read through the lenses of quizzical bystanders, these scenes often appear frightening, inexplicable, and mad – they are pathologized, sometimes ridiculed or criminalized. In this talk, I will offer a set of fragments, scenes and critical reflections, to try to think how the notion of a “dancing disease” tallies up with the disparate moments of common life that have come to be described in epidemiological and “contagious” terms. My aim will be to articulate a critical lexicon and a language with which to find the interstitial zones of safety, security and care that nurture at once sublime feelings of ecstatic surrender and energetic agglutinations, assemblies and collections of force necessary for survival.

About Kélina Gotman
Kélina Gotman is author of Choreomania: Dance and Disorder (Oxford University Press, 2018, winner of the David Bradby Award for outstanding research), Essays on Theatre and Change: Towards a Poetics Of (Routledge, 2018), co-editor of Foucault’s Theatres (Manchester University Press, 2019), as well as Performance and Translation in a Global Age (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming), and editor of the 4-volume Theories of Performance: Critical and Primary Sources (Bloomsbury, 2022). She is translator of Félix Guattari’s The Anti-Oedipus Papers (Semiotext(e), 2006) and Marie NDiaye’s The Snakes (Cue Press, 2016), among other works for the stage. She writes widely on critical and cultural theory, the history and philosophy of disciplines and institutions, language, writing, translation, performance, choreography, and critical studies of medicine and health science. She has also collaborated internationally across the arts and museum sectors, and served as Visiting Professor most recently in Recherche-Création in the Philosophy Department at the Université Toulouse Jean-Jaurès, as well as Friedrich Hölderlin Guest Professor in Comparative Dramaturgy at the Goethe-Universität Frankfurt, Guest Professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Visiting Scholar at the Society for the Humanities at Cornell University, and Associate Faculty at the Slade School of Fine Art UCL, as well as at Bard College, The New School and Columbia University. She is Professor of Performance and the Humanities at King’s College London, and in 2022-2023 Leverhulme Research Fellow, developing a new project on energy and ways of work. She was born and raised in Montreal.

Bucharest International Dance Film Festival is organized by the Tangaj Collective Association and supported by Conceptual Lab by Theo Nissim.

“Bucharest International Dance Film Festival, the 8th edition” is a cultural project co-financed by the Administration of the National Cultural Fund.
The project does not necessarily represent the position of the Administration of the National Cultural Fund. AFCN is not responsible for the content of the project or how the project results can be used. These are entirely the responsibility of the beneficiary of the funding.

“Bucharest International Dance Film Festival, the 8th edition” is a project co-financed by the Bucharest City Hall through ARCUB within the Bucharest – Affective City 2022 programme.
The content of this material does not necessarily represent the official position of the Bucharest City Hall or that of ARCUB.

Partners and hosts
the French Institute (Cinema Elvire Popesco), the Peasant Museum Cinema, CINEMAX Veranda, Grădina cu filme – Cinema & More, /SAC @ MALMAISON, the National Center for Dance Bucharest, Fabrica Grivița, Centrul Rezidențial pentru persoane vârstnice „Amalia și Șef Rabin Dr. Moses Rosen”, ADO – Asociația Artă pentru Drepturile Omului.

Media partners
All About Romanian Cinema, Bookhub, Cinefilia, Cinemap, Ediția de dimineață, E-Zeppelin, Films in Frame, IQAds, Modernism.ro, MovieNews, Munteanu, Observator cultural, PlayU.ro, Spotmedia, The Institute, Ziarul Metropolis, Zile și Nopți.

Watched by Radio Guerrilla.

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