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Temple University

1. Kaschock, Kirsten. Moving through the Unsayable: Applying Julia Kristeva's Semiotic and Abject to Choreographic Analysis.

Degree: PhD, 2013, Temple University

Dance

This dissertation explores literary-theoretical constructions arising from the consideration of certain non-narrative linguistic strategies and applies them to dance analysis. My intent is not only to provide new, functional tools for dance scholars and writers, but also to alter the theoretical terms themselves: by employing literary critical language beyond its original purpose, I hope to locate the limits of that language as it applies to dance. Moreover, I strive to identify the ways moving bodies complicate concepts normally applied to static and disembodied text. In this way my research moves in two directions: adding a specific theoretical lens to the dance-writing toolbox, and, in turn, using dance to sharpen and focus that lens. I have chosen two theoretical constructs – Julia Kristeva's explication of the semiotic aspect of language and her characterization of the abject – because of the ways they address the unsayable through body, repetition, and rhythm. Kristeva's texts, Desire in Language (1981) and Powers of Horror (1982), provide the dissertation's primary theoretical frameworks. The first text puts forth key concepts about heterogeneous meaning within her conceptualization of the semiotic; the second addresses meaning that exceeds language, and the self, and arises out of the abject (a crisis of the subject when confronted with a breakdown of boundaries between self and other). Both concepts are relevant to dance, emerging from the materiality/substance of language rather than from language as a phantom structure that ideas are placed into. This dissertation grapples with how dance strives to express that which exceeds "paraphrasable" meaning from three vantage points: 1) the assessment of the critical reception of historic choreography (Paul Taylor's Big Bertha) that plays simple narrative against the horror of the unknown; 2) an examination of participants' communications during the choreographic process of innovative choreographer, Gabrielle Lamb, and how research material was transformed during that process; 3) the documentation of my own struggle to express the unsayable during the creation of a hybrid dance/textual piece. These perspectives require different analytic strategies: 1) the casting of an artwork's meaning in historical and cultural contexts, 2) the parsing of the language used to communicate meaning between participants during the creative process, 3) the self-chronicling and reflective analysis of meaning-making during the conception and execution of a hybrid work. My objective is to show how Kristeva's theoretical constructs play out in different types of dance analysis and how the lack of a certain strain of theoretical language in dance discourse has left a hole where discussion might profitably ensue. I seek to use Kristeva's texts and post/modern techniques of the body to offer a multi-layered and technically invested understanding of dance rather than an aphoristic and imagistic one: one that substitutes multiple, specific bodies and their actions for a single…

Advisors/Committee Members: Meglin, Joellen A.;, Bond, Karen E., Teare, Brian, Levitt, Laura;.

Subjects/Keywords: Dance;

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APA · Chicago · MLA · Vancouver · CSE | Export to Zotero / EndNote / Reference Manager

APA (6th Edition):

Kaschock, K. (2013). Moving through the Unsayable: Applying Julia Kristeva's Semiotic and Abject to Choreographic Analysis. (Doctoral Dissertation). Temple University. Retrieved from http://digital.library.temple.edu/u?/p245801coll10,235678

Chicago Manual of Style (16th Edition):

Kaschock, Kirsten. “Moving through the Unsayable: Applying Julia Kristeva's Semiotic and Abject to Choreographic Analysis.” 2013. Doctoral Dissertation, Temple University. Accessed October 21, 2019. http://digital.library.temple.edu/u?/p245801coll10,235678.

MLA Handbook (7th Edition):

Kaschock, Kirsten. “Moving through the Unsayable: Applying Julia Kristeva's Semiotic and Abject to Choreographic Analysis.” 2013. Web. 21 Oct 2019.

Vancouver:

Kaschock K. Moving through the Unsayable: Applying Julia Kristeva's Semiotic and Abject to Choreographic Analysis. [Internet] [Doctoral dissertation]. Temple University; 2013. [cited 2019 Oct 21]. Available from: http://digital.library.temple.edu/u?/p245801coll10,235678.

Council of Science Editors:

Kaschock K. Moving through the Unsayable: Applying Julia Kristeva's Semiotic and Abject to Choreographic Analysis. [Doctoral Dissertation]. Temple University; 2013. Available from: http://digital.library.temple.edu/u?/p245801coll10,235678

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