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INFLeXions No. 2- Rhythmic Nexus: the Felt Togetherness of Movement and Thought

Propositions for the Verge William Forsythe's Choreographic Objects by Erin Manning
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Take One - Counterpoint algorithm, Eidos: Telos Part 3 (William Forsythe, 1995).


Proposition: Effect an orientation shift. Shift the relationship of your torso to the floor by 90 degrees moving through plié. Take the shape or path of the movement and translate it through your body so that it happens in another area of your body.

Proposition: Drop a Curve. Take any point on your body and, guided by the skeletal-muscular mechanics inherent in the body's position, drop that point to its logical conclusion following a curved path. Reconfigure the body or set it in motion in a way that varies from the original sequence.

Proposition: Unfold with Inclination Extension. Create a line between elbow and hand. Extend that line by leaving your forearm where it is in space and manoevering your body to create a straight line between shoulder and hand.

It Starts from Any Point

In Forsythe's choreographic practice, propositions play a central role. They elicit action in an environment of change in which choreography is a multiplying ecology governed by the specificity of a co-constituting environment. 'Choreography's manifold incarnations are a perfect ecology of idea-logics; they do not insist on a single path to form-of-thought and persist in the hope of being without enduring' (Forsythe, 2008: 5). Direction by exception, choreography develops in the incipiency of the in-between, spurred by tendencies that waver between the rekindling of habit and the tweaking of a contrast which beckons the new. Choreographic practice invents from what does not seem feasible, creating through the vectors of experimentation.

Choreography is not dance. It is a mistake to assign choreography to a specific human body. Bodies do not conform: they always exceed their composition. 'Choreography and dancing are two distinct and very different practices' (Forsythe, 2008: 5). Choreography sets the stage for an ecology of movement events. It delimits the infinity of movement, subtracting from the realm of opportunity to create a singular vocabulary for change.

Forsythe asks: 'is it possible for choreography to generate autonomous expressions of its principals, a choreographic object, without the body?' (Forsythe, 2008: 5). Choreography happens everywhere, all the time. The setting up of a room for the enjoyment of a household involves the creation of a movement constellation. It crafts opportunities for moving-through, creates invitations for sitting-with, provides incentive for getting-there-first. It forecasts an ideal place-taking: the perfect chair, the best view, the closest comfort. And it creates opportunities for difference: you can walk around the chair, dance on the couch, sleep under the television. Chances are, though, that your movements will take the space-as-is for granted, that you will return to the comfort of the position you prefer each time, that in time you will realize there are whole areas of the room you never really attend to. Habits set in. Even the cat is always in the same place. The space moves you in a way that does not force you to think. [2]

Such everyday choreographies highlight autonomous expressions of movement in the making, but are not necessarily creative of new opportunities. In a habitual environment, contrast is generally understated: the status-quo tends to delimit the range of potential experience. Creative autonomous opportunities are more likely to happen when an event alters how you experience space. You may decide to paint the room, taking out the furniture, only to realize that the orientation you've always taken in the space is not the most interesting one. It's not the objects that have kept you from attending to spacetimes of creation in this particular environment. It's that you forgot that objects have a life, that they create space. And that how the space moves you is synonymous with the eventness of its objects. In redecorating the room, perhaps you begin to pay more attention to how the objects create space, not simply how they configure an already existing spacetime of experience. Objects are not stable: they forecast the time of an event. 'The choreographic object: a model of potential transition from one state to another in any space imaginable' (Forsythe, 2008: 6).

From Object to Objectile

Forsythes's choreographic process creates conditions for events. When an object becomes the attractor for the event, it in-gathers the event toward the object's dynamic capacity for reconfiguring spacetimes of composition. Forsythe's choreographic objects tend to find one of their points of departure in the form of an everyday object: a balloon, a piece of cardboard, a castle. These "objects" are always part of an evolving ecosystem in Forsythe's work. They extend beyond their objectness to become ecologies for complex environments that propose dynamic constellations of space, time and movement. These "objects" are in fact propositions co-constituted by the environments they make possible. They urge participation. Through the objects, spacetime takes on a resonance, a singularity: it becomes bouncy, it floats, it shadows. The object becomes a missile for experience that inflects a given spacetime with a spirit of experimentation. We could call these objects 'choreographic objectiles' to bring to them the sense of incipient movement their dynamic participation within the relational environment calls forth.

The objectile is like a cue for the resolution of an experience. It is what drives the experience to its final form. For this to happen, Forsythe cannot use just any object. The object has to be immanent to the event and active in its unfolding. It has to call forth participation in a way that is at once enticing and unthreatening. It has to give the object to the experience in a way that is slightly off from what we might expect. The object cannot be predictable in the environment and yet it has to be familiar enough to draw us in. Choreographic objects are an affordance that provokes a singular taking-form: the conjunctive force for the activity of relation.


Choreographic objects activate an environment for movement experimentation. The idea is to create an atmosphere that slightly tweaks the time of everyday movement, inviting it to tend toward the time of the event. Participants who enter The White Bouncy Castle [3] are not only transformed into 'bouncing balls'

[4] generating a playfulness that inflects the environment, they also become participants in time of a different order: the time of experimentation.

Figure 1. White Bouncy Castle

The experience of experimentation calls forth the time of the event. The participants move because they are moved to do so, their attention aroused, their awareness tweaked, their engagement with the spacetime of the event altering the atmosphere of the space. White Bouncy Castle is more than a large platform for jumping: it effects a microperceptible change in the feeling of time, shifting the everydayness of time passing from the foregrounded measured time of habitual movement toward the durational time of play.

Choreographic objects provoke this time-slip in large part because they bring to the fore the role objects play in experience. Objects always resonate with pastness. The everyday objects Forsythe proposes for experimentation exist in an ecology of previous experience. Encountering a familiar object as a proposition for an experimental environment stimulates this experience of pastness even as it activates, in play, a tendency toward the new.

Experience is drawn forth by a pastness of the present. This pastness of the present is specious: it feels like the present even though it is already passing. When we actually perceive this pastness as the present in experience, Alfred NorthWhitehead calls it non-sensuous perception. This does not mean that we can only perceive through the mirage of what once was. It means that we are continually (roughly every half-second) experiencing a time-slip of experience that fields our current perceptions. [5] We perceive not from sense to sense, but from relation to relation. "The present moment is constituted by the influx of the other into that self-identity which is the continued life of the immediate past within the immediacy of the present" (Whitehead, 1933: 181). It is not the past as such or the object as such we perceive in the here-and-now. It is the activity of relation between different thresholds of spacetime. It is the object from the past in the configuration of the present. The then-with.

This is how the choreographic object works. Think of entering a room replete with mirrors that look like tables, reflecting a bright red floor (The Defenders, Part 2, 2008). [6] You enter the pace perhaps a little nervously - events that demand participation can be stressful. You move cautiously, aware of your approach. Then, through the corner of your eye, you catch a different quality of movement: someone is having fun! You half turn your attention to the quality of 'having fun' and before you know it, your posture has shifted. You're tending toward the fun. This movement-with becomes the initiating gesture toward the time of the event the choreographic object proposes. You suddenly no longer feel the pressure of a demand: if you did, you wouldn't be so quick to move. You feel the event's proposition. The proposition is felt as an invitation to experiment within the bounds of an ecology of practice that itself makes time felt. The choreographic object does this by bringing together the pastness of experience the objects evoke within the new constellation of event time. When an object no longer seems to be quite what you thought it was and the experience of time no longer feels as linear, it's because the event is beginning to take over. No longer as concerned with your 'self', you are now experiencing the potential of the future mixed in with the resonance of the past: a futurity of pastness in the present. Play.

Figure 2 The Defenders (Part 2)

This experience is specious: it takes us into the time-slip of the event. This speciousness has a quality of fabulation: it enervates us toward the paradox of time and incites us to invent with time. [7] Choreographic objects draw us into this speciousness by infiltrating our experience with the verge of this doubling. If these were merely stable objects inhabiting already-constituted space, they wouldn't have such a hold on us. We would walk right by them. They would exist in a predictable time. As it is, they exist in the between of a proposition and its eventness, inciting the participant to invent through them, to move with the experimentation of the propositon's unfolding into the time of movement.

The speciousness of the present is due to the disjunction between experience and the consciousness of experience. What we experience as now is already being infested with a new 'now', this new now already slightly altering the experience of the last experience of now. Choreographic objects draw out this paradox of the linearity of measured time versus the duration of experiential time. "The practically cognized present is no knife-edge, but a saddle-back, with a certain breadth of its own on which we sit perched, and from which we look in two directions into time" (William James, 1890: 609). The time-slip the choreographic object makes felt calls forth the additive and the subtractive aspect of experience. The time of the event is experienced as more-than what was before even as it is less-than what it could have been. Future and past entwined in a fabulous experience of the not-quite-now.

The Law of Contrast

Every conception of the new is the actualisation of a contrast. For Whitehead, contrast is a conduit to creativity. What the proposition calls for is not a newness as something never before invented, but a set of conditions that tweak experience in the making. Propositions are lures. They are a form of potential that alters the experiential vectorization of an actual occasion. A proposition is not something added to an occasion. It is how an occasion for experience holds within its potential the dynamics of singularity. This singularity is what Whitehead calls "a lure for feeling." Propositions that incite creativity lure difference into the pact of their unfolding through the tweaking of the occasion. This tweaking brings about the resolution of potentiality and actuality while leaving a trace of the virtual nonetheless. This is the subtraction in the addition, the more-than less-than of experience.

A proposition changes the terms of the relation, bringing them into new configurations. When Forsythe proposes: "drop a curve," what he means is "reconfigure the habit, move through contrast." If you tend to drop through your side, creating a curve from hip to shoulder, begin there. But go elsewhere with it. Put eyes in the back of your head and find yourself curving from back to knee. You might mistake this for a simple demand. You might think it's an option. Do this or do that.

This is not the case. Whitehead's concept of the proposition does not find its voice in an already-conceived language. "Spoken language," Whitehead warns, "is merely a series of squeaks" (Whitehead, 1978: 264). Language by itself means little. "The vagueness of verbal statement is such that the same form of words is taken to represent a whole set of allied propositions of various grades of abstractness" (1978: 193). When language moves us, it is because it operates in relation, becoming-propositional. A proposition can unfold in language, but not as an additive to an already-stable matrix of denotation. Propositions alter the ground of active relations between language, affect and gesture (to name a few), intensifying, attenuating, inhibiting, transmuting not meaning as such, but the affective force of the time-slip of experience.

This time-slip of experience, felt as 'now' because contrasted from 'then', is propositional when experience registers as feeling. You can curve all you want, but only when you curve in a way that transforms how you move will the curve have become a proposition for a moving body. As Whitehead repeats: "the proposition constitutes what the feeling has felt" (Whitehead, 1978: 186).

For a feeling to feel, contrast must be registered: "admission of the selected elements in the lure, as felt contraries, primarily generates purpose" (Whitehead, 1938: 188). This registering is not necessarily conscious. "A felt "contrary" is consciousness in germ" (1938: 188). Consciousness is on the verge of registering the feeling felt when the now and the now become differentiable. "Our sense of time, like other senses, seems subject to the law of contrast" (James, 1890: 618). Even the experience of the living room holds contrast in germ in a readyness to activate the habit of the everyday. Contrast underlies every here and now.

Contrast is akin to creative advance. To have felt a body developing beyond what you thought a body could do is to know-feel its differing. This differing is stimulated by a movement-generating proposition, now alive on the nexus of the embodiment of lived experience. From actual to potential, from occasion to nexus of experience, propositions are potentials for future feeling.

A proposition elicits a pattern that envelops the occasion into a potential for contrast. This contrast is not a contrast between two already-givens. It is contrast awakened from within the potential of the occasion. A proposition is never general and thus never proposes a general state of affairs. Drop a curve! is aimed at the specificity of a configuring body, a body becoming cognizant of the potential of curving matter-form. It creates a contrast in an ecological sense: the body positions spacetime differently, fielding the curving of spacetime in a new way. The contrast is felt through the creation of a new sensation which now permeates the atmosphere which is body/spacetime/movement. Propositions alter the affective tonality of the event, their participation in the event akin to an immanent inclination in the conditions of its emergence (Whitehead, 1978: 194). A choreographic proposition is a new concept for choreography because it "alter[s] the temporal condition of the ideas incumbent in the acts" (Forsythe, 2008: 7). The ideas incumbent in the acts are the immanent conditions for novelty. They are the idea-logics of the movements of thought that call forth the choreographic articulation. Ideas are eco-logical. To repeat: they "do not insist on a single path to form-of-thought" (2008: 5). They propose not an outcome in itself, but a contrast. This contrast tweaks a persistent dynamic. The proposition moves us.

From Time to Time

Propositions bridge the specious time of the present, extending the experience of the here-and-now beyond its culmination toward the experiencing of its effects. The specificity and singularity of propositions is not a gathering into the time-slip of the half-second. It is the active experience of event time.

Go back to the curve. Say you're dancing it. You are now on stage, performing Eidos:Telos. You move the movement as it comes, drawn in by choreographic principles, folding through propositions. Suddenly the movement curves you. You experience a strange déjà-vu. But it's not a déjà-vu - it's a déjà-felt. This déjà-felt is not a returning to the past. It is a re-experiencing in the present. You can't quite put your finger on what you're feeling, or even where you've felt it before. But you know you're dancing the dance - the movement is moving you with the resonance of having-been danced, as though this movement had passed through you before. This déjà-felt is an experience of the uncanniness of the doubling of experiential time where time is actively in the now of the before and the will have become of the same now. You are not dancing in the past. You are dancing the past's feeling doubling with the present feeling. You are dancing two spacetimes at once, moving the between. This is the time of the event, neither here nor there: dancing the interval.

A proposition creates the conditions for tapping into this intensive interval of the between. It inflects the occasion, creating a relational matrix that transforms the singular elements into a network of potential. It creates an appetite for experience within the event itself. It is neither true nor false. It is absolutely what it becomes. And this becoming is a cut. A proposition moves through the occasion provoking an in-gathering of intensities toward unfolding that are moulded by the enabling constraints of the event's composition. These enabling constraints are not rules as much as active parameters carving out an atmosphere for the event's potential realization.

The time of the event is propositional. Propositions are alive in the relational now of experience even as they extend beyond their nowness to participate in occasions to come. They are renewable as qualities for relational experience, even as they are singular in their present iteration. Propositions vacillate between actual and virtual time. On the one hand, their effects are felt in the specious present's "vaguely vanishing backward and forward fringe" (James, 1890: 613). On the other, they make felt the uncanniness of experience's thresholds: "A succession of feelings, in and of itself, is not a feeling of succession" (1890: 628). Through the proposition, we feel the force of the clinching of the event as the nowness of the with-then of experience. [8]

Unsustainable Time

Time is unsustainable. Forsythe explains:

I am inclined to believe that because we are bodies and possess perceptive mechanisms we also have time. I suspect our ability to construct time is predicated on the manner in which the body integrates its perceptions and upon the action necessary to generate these perceptions. The characteristic I would most associate with bodily time is the unsustainable. Nothing in the body can be sustained indefinitely. [Interview, 2008]

What is unsustainable is the experience of time in-itself. To manage this unsustainability, we tend to approach event-time as though it could be parceled out in manageable quantities of distinct presents, pasts or futures. But despite our best efforts, event-time remains unsustainable. Event-time is a miring in the multiplicity of now - the now that has passed, the now that is passing and the now that will have been, each phase of nowness contributing to the occasion at hand. To be in-time is to experience the uncanniness of being with the past in the future toward the present. Time as duration is unmeasurable, unknowable as such, unsustainable in experience.

Experiential time is always time of the event. Outside the event, there is no experience of lived time: potential contrasts have not yet gelled into actualization. Here, time is durational in the purest sense: virtual plenitude.

When the event takes form, the signature of an actualizing event-time emerges that sets time-as-now in motion. This time-signature [9] situates the event in a specious present. The difference between time in everyday life-events and time as activated through choreographic objects is simply the quality of making felt the time of the occasion for the taking time of experiencing the now. Amidst the time collisions of everyday, the taking-time for the now is often backgrounded. By foregrounding the singular time of the event, choreographic objects make time for experimentation.

Quantifiable time operates through the has-been of experience in the mode of time counted. Event-time is the feltness of experience in the time-slip of the now. The difference: one is measured after the fact, one is felt in the nowness of lived experience. Choreography works with both. Quantifying the time of a movement allows for repetition, the setting into sequence of a measurable component of movement technique. The paradox: the repetition will always be a re-creation in-time. Each repetition of a movement sequence will requalify the time of the event: the repetition will activate a new time-signature for the movement's duration. Every return to the same will be a return to difference, a spiralling deviation into the multiplying time-slip that activates the now in the midst of many thens. No choreography is actually made to measure.

Forsythe writes: "Bodies in dance are time machines, time is the exquisite product of the dancing body" (Forsythe, 2008: 111). In Forsythe's work, time-machines often stand-in as propositions for generating movement. Using both quantitative methods (clocks, watches, metronomes) and qualitiative devices (varying the volume and melody of a voice while counting, altering the duration and rhythms of the counts), Forsythe plays with the double time of movement. Working this way foregrounds both the additive and the subtractive aspect of movement: quantifiable time measures the spacetime of performance, creating a platform for repetition; qualitative time extrudes movement's duration, creating an ecology of movement, space and time for lived experience. Foregrounding this doubling of future-pastness in alternate modes of counting time adds consistency to the experience and perception of moving. To move is to feel-with the varying velocities of time's multiple rhythms. Time, moving us, moving time.

A perception is not propelled by a subject who exists outside the occasion. Perception is not the perception of something: it does not stand outside an event already-constituted. A perception - or prehension, in Whitehead's vocabulary - is the activity that propels into relation that which will become an occasion. It is the actualizing becoming-eventness of catching in the passing the coincidence of matter-form that is always less-than and more-than an object-as-such. It is less-than because prehended is only that aspect of the relation which provokes this singular actual occasion. It is more-than because the relationality inherent in the prehension calls forth more than the it-ness of the object as such. Addition and subtraction in the same perceiving movement. Then the subject emerges, not a perceiving subject, but a subjectile that culminates through the eventness of the perception's concrescence into an actualized form. Whitehead calls this subjective form. [10] What culminates is the merging of virtual microevents into an occasion for experience. This occasion for experience takes time even as it makes time: it contributes to experience even as it continues to resonate through the virtual nexus of its emergence and completion.

Nik Hafner, a former dancer for the Frankfurt Ballet, discusses the overlapping use of metric and durational time in Forsythe's choreographic process: "In William Forsythe's pieces, we continuously find people or objects that mark time and remind us of the time-duration of their structures: watches, counters, step-makers" (Hafner, 2004: 133). What strikes Hafner is that despite the use of many instruments for quantifiable measure, Forsythe's interest seems to lie less in the measurability of time (and the body's coordination to that measure) than in "events that are, given their timely complexity, unreproducible" (2004: 135). Forsythe's experimentation with the time of movement is diagrammatic. Rather than simply treating quantified time as the organising node for choreography's expression, he urges his dancers to become flexible in different time zones. He suggests, for instance, that they create diagrams for the superimposition of different experiences of time, both measured and durational. These diagrams can begin with something as simple as a schedule that corresponds to "precise spaces on the stage as well as further information about the kind of height-level (low/middle/high) of the improvisation" to end up as multi-layered drawings and foldings that convey how measure and duration coexist in the activity of creating bodies of time (2004:136).

Diagrams for Dance

For Forsythe's dancers, diagrams are generative propositions for the activation of folds of time at the intersection of duration and measure. A diagrammatic approach is useful for registering the complexity of co-constitutive spacetimes of experience and expression. Dana Casperson, long-standing dancer with the Frankfurt Ballet and the Forsythe Company explains: "Bill's dancing is extremely complex and organic, and the key to understanding how to do his choreography lies in figuring out which points on his body are initiating movement and which are responding to the initiation" (Casperson, 2000: 27). These quick transitions between micromovements are like "refractions [of] light bounding between surfaces" (2000: 27).

Capturing the bounce is an event in itself. This is where diagrams come in. Casperson and Hafner both write of Forsythe's ALIE/N A(CTION) Part 1 (1992) as an example of a piece that necessitates the crafting of a diagrammatic proposition Here, we have an example of diagrammatic praxis. [11]

We took sheets of transparent paper, drew shapes on them, and cut geometric forms into them which we folded back to create a 3D surface that could reveal surfaces underneath. We layered this on top of the book page, a flattened projection of the Laban cube, and a computer generated list of times organized into geometric shapes (created by David Kern and Bill). Then we photocopied it. We then drew simple geometric forms onto these copies and repeated the whole process until we had a layered document. We used this document first to generate movement (Casperson, 2000: 28, image below p. 29)


Figure 3 Diagram for ALIE/N A(C)TION [12]

Diagrammatic praxis works with ontogenetic prearticulations of co-existent tendencies overlapping toward the creation of new vectors. [13] In the case of the process of creating diagrams for movement exploration, these ontogenetic tendencies are also biogrammatic: of the becoming-body. [14] Sher Doruff explains: "the biogrammatic is synergetic with what might be called diagrammatic praxis and can be considered ontogenetic to performing arts practice as it emphasizes the experience of practice becoming perception through differential relations" (Doruff, 2008: 16).

Diagrammatic propositions invest in what Gilles Deleuze, following Michel Foucault, calls the "thought of the outside." This concept of the outside must not be placed in a dichotomous relation with a putative inside. The outside refers to forces "that we might understand as the roiling and threatening forces of chaos" (Deleuze, 1986: 43). The outside is the force field of potential from which actual occasions are subtracted, the more-than of the less-than of lived experience. The Frankfurt Ballet's diagrammatic propositions capture the prearticulations of these forces, flirting with their potential, activating choreographic practice toward the as yet unthought-for-experimentation. The diagrams are not descriptive of a process to be followed. They are transductive: they call forth jumps in register, inciting new processes at each juncture - from writing to movement, from fold to flight. Folding techniques for the paper do not simply translate into folding techniques for the body. They create potential biograms - affective openings for the transformation of a body in process. To do this, the diagrammatic fold itself must first take on resonance, find its experiential force within the composition at hand. Through a tight interweaving of divergent forms of process, what ensues is the individuation of a becoming-event spurred by the superimposition of paper-times and movement-folds transduced into the unfolding biogram of movement composition.

A technique used by the Forsythe ballet to bring into expression the transduction of processes for making time in dance takes the form of what Hafner calls the "step-maker". Step-makers take part in many of Forsythe's choreographies. Their role is to initiate or comment on "the changing velocity and dynamics of the piece" (Hafner, 2004: 137). Choreographic tempo is gauged by the step-maker's movement such that the piece itself becomes imbued with their rhythms, affecting the felt duration of movement-time for the rest of the dancers. Step-maker: dancing proposition for the transduction from measure to duration, from time-counting to time-texturing.

Diagrammatic propositions paired with choreographic predispositions result in the creation of a complex spacetime of experience that in itself cannot be mapped. "The resulting structure has a time complexity that […] could not have been created by any one person, the many simple parts having recombined in unforeseeable ways because of innumerable decisions made by the many involved" (Casperson, 2000: 34). I would push this even further, suggesting that what is emergent in the Forsythe Company's work is not a complex map of decisions but a biogrammatic cartography of incipient tendencies taking form. These are not decisions in the standard sense of being willed by the dancer. [15] They are activating cuts immanent to the process of making movement, each of which foregrounds contrasting outcomes. They are the eventness of tendencies concrescing in the timeslip of the new, spurred into invention by the ecology of the dance itself.

The Speed of Movement

Nik Hafner describes a practice session with Forsythe: Hafner is working on a jump he feels isn't working. He thinks he has the timing wrong. Forsythe suggests that it "isn't the speed of the movement itself, but its stopping, the arrival, the reaching of the new position" that is at stake (Hafner, 2004: 138). Still, the movement continues to be missing something. Bill tries a different tact, explaining that "the end of the movement is not a real stopping", suggesting to Hafner that to execute the movement successfully, he should continue "to think the movement after the so-called Stop, that I should let the movement slowly endlessly grow" (2004: 138).

Movement never stops. Every movement resonates with its incipient preacceleration and its potential surplus or remainder, active in a contagion of speeds and slownesses. A 'first' movement is not 'the beginning'. It is the activation of a differing velocity. Take a dynamic jump. Your preparation for the movement already carries within its posture the movement leading up to it and the immanent complexity of all the potential movement articulations activating your corpuscular universe. Most of these tendencies will fall away when you jump - the specificity of the movement at hand requires that only jump-derivative configurations of proprioceptive, muscular and thought processes be active. These jump-specific preaccelerations will incite the materialization of a fusing-together of jump potential before you actually leave the ground: you will already experience an inclination to move - a virtual interval on the verge of actualization - that sets the stage for the displacement to take place. [16] In this inclination toward jumping - the jump's preacceleration - there will already be a feeling of shifting ground as well as a pre-feeling of a landing site (Arakawa and Gins, 2002). This landing site is less a point in space than what Deleuze calls a 'decisive turn' (Deleuze, 1988: 27)). You are jumping not toward an actual site. You are preaccelerating into an evolution of site that immanently alters the very quality of taking off. The jump is less a jump-as-such than a dynamic coexperiencing of varying velocities in preacceleration and extension.

To jump successfully is to jump-through the singularity of jumping experience. It is to invite the thinking-feeling Forsythe emphasizes - the thought of the movement endlessly growing after it ends - into the movement even before the displacement through space has taken form. To jump well is to move-through velocities too quick to know. It is to move-with the durational process of the time of movement as event. The jump-as-such - displacement through space - never represents the totality of our experience. We live the jump-event. From incipient movement to incipient movement with the experience of velocity in between, the jump cannot be felt in-time.

"Bill spends a lot of training time teaching us about the quality of different speeds and instructing us on the change of tempo as felt in our bodies" (Hafner, 2004: 139). To feel time is not only about timing. Timing is an organizational factor of any choreography, and especially of the relation between choreography and stagecraft. But there is much beyond timing that exploits the rhythms active in the transitions between micromovements in the making and movement taking form. In an attempt to accentuate the microeventness of movement-time, Forsythe sounds the movement:

when Bill himself dances during practice, he often translates the movement vocally into a kind of wordless singing, in order to assist us not only in
visually showing the smallest change in tempo and movement dynamic through his body, but also underscoring it acoustically (Hafner, 2004: 140).

Forsythe sings the rhythm of movement taking form, making experiential the folds of what cannot be perceived as such. These folds of micromovements are virtual contributions on the verge of actual movement. No actual taking-form of movement could occur without an infinity of micromovements active in the preacceleration and the deployment of a singular movement's form-taking. Micromovements are akin to the unsustainable in time - impossible to grasp and maintain - yet absolutely key to how movement resolves itself as a taking-form. When he sings movement, what Forsythe is sounding is not a body dancing a particular movement, but the speed of lived folding. Folding-through is what moves the sounding.

Movement-time is the event cluster of a gathering into experience of the time-slip of measurable time and the durational experience of micromoving. Each movement is a line of flight caught in the between of imperceptible micromovements and actual movement taking form. How a movement develops depends on the how of its micromovements' ingressions into the taking form of the time of the event. Micromovements make all the difference. Take a line: elbow-shoulder. This line could be drawn as a vector, or could be a curve inflected toward an inclination. Experimenting with it is to discover not only different opportunities for lines and curves and angles, but to sense the almost-perceptible microperceptions of difference in kind.

[T]he determination of each "line" involves a sort of contradiction in which apparently diverse facts are grouped according to their natural affinities, drawn together according to their articulation. But, on the other hand, we push each line beyond the turn, to the point where it goes beyond our own experience… (Deleuze, 1988: 27).

When we move beyond our own experience, when we sound out the in-between, we are treading into the unsustainable arena of microperception. We can get lost here. If we do, no singularity of movement will result. The singularity of movement resides not in the actualization of a movement's micromovements as such but in the manner in which micromovements contribute to the movement's taking form. The decisive turn through which a constellation of micromovements congeal into a singularity might come when the line elbow-shoulder takes on velocity and we feel a newness of experience through the contrast of habit and difference. When our body is no longer a containor for movement but a force for the transduction of movement. To experiment with this beyond of experience where movement singularities are emergent is to invent-with a becoming-body. "When we have benefited in experience from a gleam which shows us a line of articulation, all that remains is to extend it beyond experience" (Deleuze, 1988: 27; translation modified). The decisive turn of the extension beyond experience is the point of inflexion where line becomes curve and proposition becomes movement.

As an audience, we also experience movement's contrast more than its taking-form. When the dancer raises her arm, we see not the raising but the having-been raised, and even then, if it was quick, we are not quite sure: was it really an arm raised or was it a jump? We feel the resonance of the microexpressions of movement in the creation of difference. This experience of contrast is felt through the perception of how the echo of a remainder that is the incipience of the movement passing wells into the singularity of the next event. At dancing's best, this verging on the new is felt intensively, transforming a series of steps into an ecology of experience. If captivated, we become participants in event-time.

In Moving Memory

Living in time means living through memory. Memory, for Henri Bergson, is not something stored and subsequently recollected. It is the activation of the past in the present. Memory gives a body duration, creating a platform for a body to become an ecology of a multitude of durational times interwoven.

Memory and perception are of a different order yet inextricably linked, "always interpenetrat[ing] each other, […] always exchanging something of their substance as by a process of endosmosis" (Bergson, 1939: 67). When a dancer moves, the movement is implicit in her perception of it, which is itself part-memory. When we watch a dancer move, the movement perceived is already the memory of the previous movement coursing through it. Each movement is alive with a memory that activates the becoming-body. [17] This activation is not a memory of an actual movement: we wouldn't have time remember a movement and move/perceive at the same time. The memory is a force of activation and stabilization ensconced in the presentness of discovering the feeling of movement again for the first time.

Take the walk. When we walk, each step is already virtually imbued with all previous walkings, all previous proprioceptive tendings and kinesthetic sensings. This virtual plenitude of experience and experimentation assures a metastability of balance, a sensual memory of how the ground touches the foot and the weight shifts as the body transfers from step to step. The memory of having-walked is not an activated memory per se: we are rarely thinking about walking while we walk. It is a memory on the edge of perception, sustaining the movement within its infinite range of potential metastabilities. This is a passive memory [18] active in the folds of the nowness of perception, its time-signature specious. The passive memory of the metastabilities garnered from a lifetime of walking can save us from a fall when the snowy ground suddenly turns to ice or when we almost-trip over the edge of the sidewalk.

In fact we have never been stable. To walk is to move with perception and its continual activation of a million stabilities and instabilities, rightings and unbalancings. Without the interweaving of the past in the present, we couldn't simply get up and walk - each walking would have to be a relearning of moving through the tiny disjunctive equilibriums we call balance.

The walk becomes a habitual movement through the memory of having walked. We feel the more-than of its habitualness when we suddenly can't right ourselves. A sore ankle takes the habit out of the walk. We find we have to tweak the metastabilities of our incipient movement toward new angles of comfort. But soon we get the hang of it and before we know it, the walk is walking us once more.

An incipient tendency toward taking a step is felt as a walk when the divergent metastabilities congeal into a singularity - a decisive turn. The flow of the walk now feels less like a stepping than a moving horizontality. Yet this horizontality, like the steps themselves, is composed of an infinity of microtendencies toward verticality, the most obvious being the verticality of the body itself in relation to the horizontal ground across which it moves. The walk: an almost-falling verticality transduced into an inclination for horizontality.

The walk's unfolding as horizontality depends on finding within its quality of movement the doubleness of its point of virtual departure and arrival. This two-directional betweenness is what gives the movement its horizontalizing consistency. It is through the virtual interval of the walk's preacceleration that walking is transformed from a step into a movement. [19]

After we have followed the lines of divergence beyond the turn, these lines must intersect again, not at the point from which we started, but rather at a virtual point, at a virtual image of the point of departure, which is itself located beyond the turn in experience; and which finally gives us the sufficient reason of the thing, the sufficient reason of the composite, the sufficient reason of the point of departure (Deleuze, 1988: 28-29).

The virtual image of the point of departure is akin to Forsythe's idea of thinking-feeling the movement's contribution to spacetimes of experience even after the displacement has taken place. We move through the future feeling present.

Memory is like having a vision in the future-past. Forsythe explains:

one of our methodologies had to do with identically remembering another person's variation, or sprays rather […] and building a kind of architecture of movement around it, but you [have] to keep seeing this other person dancing in order to perform it, so it [becomes] a way of having a vision. [20]

Memory is visionary in the sense of foresight: a seeing-with-before. Moving someone else's moving while you're watching them move is like feeling future movement. You are moving with the incipient future (the always nextness of movement) in the present passing. This is recollection at work. Recollecting is moving the future (the thought becoming memory) through the past in the present. Forsythe calls the experimentation with this recollection-in-movement dancing with "a cloud of form," and describes it as a proprioceptive gathering of tendencies not actually reproduced but reactivated such that they can take form in relation to their already having taken place. Recollecting produces future memory, it creates visions for movement. Lived experience is the experience of fielding this visionariness of experience. Key to becoming visionary is to move through remarkable points, to catch decisive turns in the making.

One or More Rhythms?

The taking-form of movement is rhythmic. Rhythm is another way of evoking the multiplicity of time-slips of experience in any given occasion. Rhythm is not added to movement from outside its taking form. Rhythm is its taking form.

Because each rhythm is itself a duration, rhythm is what gives time to incipient movement, characterizing that singular movement's in-timeness. This intimeness is not a beat [21] or a measure but a quality of becoming that is coterminous with the incipiency of the movement's preacclereation and the elasticity of its unfolding. Rhythm cuts across measure. It is akin to Forsythe's sounding movement. It makes felt the microperceptual.

Choreography's ecology is rhythmical. Choreography is composed of an infinity of slightly varying velocities, vibrations, sensations. These qualities are in and of matter, active in the transduction from force to form. These individuating qualities give specificity to the environment, inflecting the ways bodies move with and through it. The movement in turn creates time-volumes that populate the co-configuring atmosphere. Choreography, as Forsythe emphasizes, is not strictly about human bodies. It is about the creation of spacetimes of experience.

Rhythmically, movement evolves in ecological concert with the becoming-environment. Rhythm signs duration, lending duration its time-signature. Bergson insists: duration has rhythm. [22] This virtual rhythm affects how the event's time-signature is modulated in its unfolding. The time-signature of a jump is vastly different from the time-signature of a float. The jump's time-signature or rhythm is felt on the verge of experience in the feeling of an inclination whereas the rhythm of a float is experienced in a buoyancy verging on sinking. The feeling for duration experienced through these different time-signatures is the rhythm of their mattering. Rhythm plays on this verging of experience that gives quality to matter. It adds a quality to experience's taking form. Rhythm textures a becoming-form, bringing a singular quality to its individuation. Rhythm makes felt the singularity of lived experience. Choreographic practice in an open ecology of biogrammatic endurance is rhythm in motion.

The Becoming of Continuity

Whitehead writes: "There is a becoming of continuity, but no continuity of becoming" (Whitehead, 1978: 35). A proposition calls forth a becoming of continuity even while it resists the continuity of becoming. Embedded in the actual occasion and immanent to its unfolding, propositions call forth a tendency within the occasion to open itself toward a singularity of expression. Once admitted into experience, there is no longer becoming: the event is absolutely what it has become.

Proposition: Execute a standard épaulement. [23]

Figure 4 Épaulement

Now recreate the feeling of the épaulement but from behind. "Put your eyes in the back of your head - you can literally invert the épaulement." (Forsythe) [24] This is a proposition for the becoming of continuity. Just thinking about it, you feel a slight twisting of your torso and a pre-feeling of vertigo. Eyes behind my head? Impossible! But note: you've already begun moving. It may as yet be imperceptible, but your shoulder is already starting to lower. You've thought-felt the movement's impossibility even as you preaccelerated into the movement.

As a movement realizes itself, it stops becoming. It perishes along the nexus of thought-feelings. In Whitehead's terms, it has achieved its satisfaction. There can be no continuity of becoming when an event has taken form. But there can and will be more becoming of continuity: another movement is already folding-through. You will never move through épaulement in quite the same way.

If there were continuity of becoming, there would be no decisive turn where a feeling is strictly what it had become. There would be no experiencing of the time-signature of a movement event. Everything would be process. For lived experience, it is necessary for there to be a cut that brings contrast to duration, a decisive turn through which an actual occasion takes form and is felt as such.

Events emerge from a process immanent to their emergence. When the events have fully taken form, they will forever remain what they have become. This arabesque will forever have been this arabesque. Yet every future instance of an arabesque will be affected by the continuum of the arabesque-as-nexus. The arabesque is both absolutely what it is now and an infinity of qualitative arabesque-contributions toward a dancing future. This means that while there is no continuity of becoming for the event per se, there is continuity of becoming on the durational plane of experience. The arabesque-as-nexus is not an event: it contributes the feeling of arabesque for the subsequent arabesque-event. Whitehead has two terms for the durational or virtual becoming of continuity: nexus and extensive continuum. The nexus is the plane through which the shadow of past events contributes to present activations. [25] Choreographic propositions rely on the relational potential of this virtual stratum.

The extensive continuum is more vague. It is the withness of the vastness of durational plenitude. Singular movement develops out of this extensive continuum, emergent in relation to all of the micropotentialities of pastness and futurity that make up an event. "This extensive continuum is one relational complex in which all potential objectifications find their niche. It underlies the whole world, past, present and future" (Whitehead, 1978: 65).

We cannot know extension as such, and yet extension underlies each of our perceptions. It is an infinite relational network of potential through which singularities emerge. It does not connote a before or beyond of experience. It is closer to an outside in the Deleuzian/Foucauldian sense - a force field for experience's experimentation in the now. In actualization, each singularity is independent of all other singularities yet virtually interconnected with the force of becoming-event. Thus each singularity is intrinsically connected to the web of potential which modulates its taking-form. Form and force, infinitely co-arising.

Once an occasion has reached its subjective form (its singularity), it perishes. [26] Its singularity will never become other than what it is, in this particular time-signature. But the force of its persistence within the web of relations that create the potential for singularity will live on in the folds of experience.

Movement folds time. In a recent discussion with Forsythe, he commented on the ineffable quality of movement. "All movement is subtraction", he said. "To move is to fold." [27] A given movement is a subtraction from the infinity of movement's extensive continuum. Movement can never actualize its fullness of potential: each actualization will be a germ in the becoming of continuity. This becoming of continuity will in turn fold into the nexus of perished occasions. Movement folds through its infinite potential to create a multiplying form-taking that rhythmically makes time.

Forsythe writes: "You cannot organize these things from outside. You have to be inside the event.." [28] Movement flows from within its own eventness. It folds through this eventness carrying within itself the potential of infinite extension. From within and yet in an absolute outside: on the verge.

Verging on the continuum is a proposition for rhythmic duration. In this process of narrowing through rhythm, an event takes form through a divisional turn that cuts duration. The rhythm of an event's taking form is replete with extensity and intensity. The continuum pervades it and it pervades the continuum. But in the time of the event's actualization it becomes 'this singular rhythm'. We feel the event not through the infinity of the continuum but in the time of its rhythm. This rhythm is an ecology: it partakes of the infinite potential of all the durations that might have gathered into this expression of singularity. But it is strictly this singular time-signature - a sonorous relational matrix of the here and now. This rhythm of the here and now is ecological because it carries within its taking-form the unrealized expressions of all the times of its making. It carries them not as decisions to exclude, but as propositions for the verge.

Propositions for the Verge

"And because I like to think algorithmically, I like to think […] of these prescriptions as little language machines that produce these things called arabesques or tendus or pirouettes." [29] Propositions can be language machines. But they are not language-based in the sense of working denotatively. Propositions are platforms for relation that can find their conduit in language.

Forsythe's language machines are more than language. They are propositional algorithms. Algorithms are iterative equations that can evolve through the randomness of their difference in repetition. In computer systems, drift is often expressed through built in randomness in the algorithm that, over time, causes a tweaking of the primary conditions. These are known in mathematics as probabilistic algorithms. Key is that randomization is part of their logic.

Forsythe's algorithms are a tool for the creation of choreographic propositions. "Algorithms! Algorithms are little machines made of language and they're very complex and they're very beautiful and they're not like many things I've seen before. They naturally take things apart and put them back [together] in very unexpected ways." [30] The algorithms Forsythe creates generate an ontogenetic field. This ontogenetic field seeds the conditions for ecologies of experience. For Forsythe, these ecologies are often populated by dancing bodies. But in the case of his choreographic objects, he may focus instead on an ecology of matter. Either way, the ecological field organizes bodies. [31] This mode of organization is not a situating of bodies in stable spacetime. It is an activity that creates the conditions for the creation of spacetimes of encounter between bodies and ground, between air and sound, between light and movement. This constant recombination of matter-form calls forth certain iterations which are in tune with the randomized effects of the algorithms. Here, the proposition of the algorithm is immanent to its unfolding in spacetimes of experience: its algorithmic uncertainty occasions the appearance of qualities of relation never before ascertained. More recently, Forsythe has extended this process to participatory installations. Like the algorithms before them, these choreographic objects are propositions for the generating of qualities of relation: they are propositions for relational movement. [32] Relational because "pieces can be developed from any point, and any point within a piece comprises the fullness of the whole" (Casperson, 2004: 108). Relational movement because they create ecologies of encounter. Propositional because they "constitute a source for the origination of feeling which is not tied down to mere datum" (Whitehead, 1978: 186). Propositional because they co-constitute actual occasions, always immanent to their unfolding as events.

Like his choreographies, Forsythe's choreographic objects are created with very precise immanent conditions for movement: they insist on the precision of parameters for movement without divesting the movement of its potential for eventness. They are unforeseeable in their effects yet carefully crafted toward participation. They are objectiles thrown into the world, invitations to move-with. Forsythe speaks of seeking physical solutions to dramaturgic propositions.

[33] The choreographic objects are designed to provoke physical solutions that tend toward habit even as they divert us toward the contrast of the new. This new emerges relationally, activated by propositions embedded into the choreographic objects' potential deployment. These act not on individual will: they move the relation.

Forsythe is interested more in the folding of space than the form-taking of bodies. [34] His choreographic propositions begin with this folding, activating a creative tension between the virtual extensity of a durational rhythm and the actual intensity of a moving in time. From creating environmental conditions for performance to creating propositions for relational movement, Forsythe's work remains an activity that folds forward into a complex ecological nexus. As a choreographer of missiles of movement, Forsythe's work makes felt movement's relationality as a force of matter itself.

"You don't need a choreographer to dance." [35] What you need is a proposition. Propositions are ontogenetic: they emerge as the germ of the occasion and persist on the nexus of experience to take hold once more through new occasions of experience. Forsythe's choreographic objects are propositions in just this sense.

Take Scattered Crowd (2002). [36] This choreographic object involves four thousand white balloons suspended in a wash of sound. The balloons themselves are not the proposition. The proposition is expressed through their uncanny volume and its contribution to the creation of singular spacetimes of experimentation. Scattered Crowd is about moving-through quality - whiteness, airiness, lightness - such that the co-constituting spacetime of experience becomes a moving-with: relational environment invites relational movement creates ecology of event.

For Scattered Crowd how the room's volume evolves is synonymous with the constituting of event-time. The changing of the affective tone of spacetime is not willed by individual participants. It happens in a relational becoming: the room moves the participants to alter the composition of event-time. Here we see precision of proposition meeting unpredictability of event. To achieve a singularity of experience, the enabling constraints immanent to the proposition have to be both concise and open-ended. When it works, the whole atmosphere is moved.

Figure 5 Scattered Crowd

Scattered Crowd is an indoor weather system, a platform for becoming-environmental. As Forsythe describes it, it is "a choreography for people and


open space […] It is like the representation of a solution; it is about perfect distribution in a room." [37] Time literally flies. White airiness active in incipiency, the balloons entice, altering the sense of the room's containment, shifting the ground. The balloons qualify the space, easing movement into its own voluminousness, the white balloons calling forth the folds of molecularity, the ineffable spacetimes of experience that matter our movement.

Take Two - Counterpoint Algorithm, Kitchen Party (Montreal 2008)

Proposition: Effect an orientation shift. Walk down the street. Feel the shape of your walk. Transduce your street walk into a staircase walk. Sit down with this staircase feeling. Take off your boots.

Proposition: Drop a Curve. Glance into the living room. Note the single empty space on the couch. Feel the shift in equilibrium as your body begins to curve toward sit-ability. Take the tendency to curve and shift it into a walking feeling. Even as you walk by the living room, feel the curving potential of couching.

Proposition: Unfold with Inclination Extension. Extrude a line from your walk. Trace its extension. Leave the line in place and manoeuver around it. Find yourself in the kitchen.

Proposition: Experiment with the fridge's couchability.


Figure 6 Couch


[1] These instructions are slightly paraphrased. Find the original in Caspersen "It Starts from Any Point", p. 33.

[2] For Deleuze, thought is always of the body, in movement. He writes: "Do not count upon thought to ensure the relative necessity of what it thinks. Rather, count upon the contingency of an encounter with that which forces thought to raise up and educate the absolute necessity of an act of thought or a passion to think. […] Something in the world forces us to think" (Deleuze, 1994: 139). "It is true that on the path which leads to that which is to be thought, all begins with sensibility. Between the intensive and thought, it is always by means of an intensity that thought comes to us" (1994: 144).

[3] Choreographic Object by Dana Casperson, William Forsythe and Joel Ryan. Co-production with - originally commissioned by ARTANGEL, London. Premiere: March 26, 1997, The Roundhouse, Chalk Farm, London. For images, see 03_pictures.html

[4] Comment by Forsythe translated from the French: "J'ai essayé de créer un contexte chorégraphique qui oblige les participants à se confronter à une idée qui change leur perception d'un corps en mouvement. Dans Bouncy Castle, les corps devenaient des boules rebondissantes, ce qui déclenchait de suite un sentiment de bonheur, tout comme dans." City of Abstracts, p.?.

[5] On the half-second lapse in perception, see Benjamin Libet, 'Unconscious cerebral initiative and the role of conscious will in voluntary action,' Behavior and Brain Sciences, 529-266. (insert in bibliography) For philosophical and cultural discussions, see Brian Massumi's "The Autonomy of Affect" and "Strange Horizon" in Parables for the Virtual: Movement, Affect, Sensation, pp. 23-25; 177-207.

[6] Choreographic Object by William Forsythe. Music: Dietrich Krüger, Thom Willems. Permiere: May 17 2008, Ursula Blickle Stiftung, Kraichtal.

[7] The aspect of "falsity" often associated to the specious is at its most creative here. It could be thought alongside Deleuze's concept of the "power of the false:" that which "replaces and supersedes the form of the true, because it poses the simultaneity of incompossible presents, or the coexistence of not-necessarily true pasts" (Deleuze, 1989: 131).

[8] In Perception Attack (forthcoming MIT Press), Brian Massumi develops a theory of mentality (derived from Whitehead's vocabulary of the mental and physical poles that make up every actual occasion) that addresses the uncanny temporality of propositions in the way I am defining them here. He writes: "The mental pole is the share of the event that is renewable, in the sense that it may reembody. It is the share of the event that is reversible, in the sense that when it renews it will have returned to the beginning, through a terminus recurring, folding back-under to in-form renascent tendency."

[9] Time-signatures as I am using them here have nothing to do with the ways they are used in musical scores. In musical scoring, a time-signature refers to the numerical sign placed at the beginning of a piece of music, or during the course of it, to indicate the meter of the piece. In this case, the time-signature helps to determine the number of beats to a measure. Here, I use time-signature as a means of conceiving the singularity of time in a becoming-actual of its duration.

[10] Whitehead writes: "The problem which the concrescence [the taking-form] solves is, how the many components of the objective content are to be unified in one felt content with its complex subjective form. This one felt content is the 'satisfaction,' whereby the actual entity is its particular individual self; to use Descartes' phrase, 'requiring nothing but itself in order to exist.'" (Whitehead, 1978: 233).

[11] This concept was coined by Doruff. See Doruff (2009).

[12] Image reproduced from William Forsythe - Choreography and Dance.

[13] For a development of the concept of prearticulation see Erin Manning "Propositions for Thought in Motion" in Relationscapes: Movement, Art, Philosophy.

[14] The becoming-body is akin to Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari's theorization of the Body without Organs in their chapter entitled "How Do You Make Yourself A Body Without Organs" in A Thousand Plateaus. I develop this concept with relation to the biogram in a chapter entitled "From Biopolitics to the Biogram" in Relationscapes.

[15] Whitehead writes: "The 'locus' of a proposition consists of those actual occasions whose actual worlds include the logical subjects of the proposition. When an actual entity belongs to the locus of a proposition, then conversely the proposition is an element in the lure for feeling of that actual entity. If by the decision of the concrescence, the proposition has been admitted into feeling, then


the proposition constitutes what the feeling has felt. The proposition constitutes a lure for a member of its locus by reason of the germaneness of the complex predicate to the logical subjects, having regard to forms of definiteness in the actual world of that member, and to its antecedent phases of feeling" (Whitehead, 1978: 186; my emphasis). Decision is immanent to the process of concrescence in Whitehead. I use 'cut' throughout this paper rather than 'decision' to underline the way in which decision operates not from outside the occasion but participates in the difference of its unfolding. A decision is how the event comes to completion. There is no event without decision, and no decision that can alter an already constituted event.

[16] I develop the concept of preacceleration in a piece entitled "Incipient Action: The Dance of the Not-Yet" in Relationscapes. In this piece, the concept of preacceleration emerges through the question of how a movement can be felt relationally when two people move together. In order for the movement to be activated in the togetherness of a 'now', the relation itself has to be moved. For this to happen, a preacceleration of the movement must be felt. This kind of dynamic is keenly felt in Argentine Tango, which builds on improvised deviations of the walk.

[17] In the watching of dance, there is a similar qualitative transformation of what a (perceiving) body can do.

[18] Deleuze refers to this as passive synthesis. See Difference and Repetition.

[19] The process of moving through the metastability of verticalising and horizontalising balances walking requires is very apparent in children learning to walk. The first stage of walking tends towards a falling back: from sitting to standing to sitting. Verticality is tended toward as a limit that throws the movement back. In the second stage, a tottering occurs whereby momentum is gathered forward-falling. This translates into saccaded steps, each step its own dynamic form. For walking to ensue, the steps themselves must become absorbed into the horizontal advance of the movement. This backgrounds the steps, allowing the momentum of horizontality to take over.

[20] Transcript of the John Tusa Interview with William Forsythe BBC 3.

[21] About Pierre Boulez, Deleuze and Guattari write: "Boulez distinguishes tempo and non-tempo in music: the 'pulsed time' of a formal and functional music based on values and the 'nonpulsed time' of a floating music, both floating and machinic, which has nothing but speeds or differences in dynamic. In short, the difference is not at all between the ephemeral and the durable, nor even between the regular nad the irregular, but between two modes of individuation, two modes of temporality" (Deleuze and Guattari, 1987: 262).

[22] Bergson writes: "En réalité, il n'y a pas un rythme unique de la durée; on peut imaginer bien des rythmes différents, qui, plus lents ou plus rapides, mesureraient le degré de tension ou de relâchement des consciences, et, par là, fixeraient leurs places respectivent dans la série des êtres. Cette représentation de durées à élasticité inégale est peut-être pénible pour notre esprit, qui a contracté l'habitude de substituer à la durée vraie, vécue par la conscienc, un temps homogène et indépendant…" (Bergson, 1939: 232-3).

[23] In Ballet, épaulement is defined as the use of the head to complete the line of the body during a movement. Generally, the head inclines towards whichever foot is in front.

[24] Conversation with Forsythe, Amsterdam, June 3 2008.

[25] Whitehead defines the nexus: "a nexus is a set of actual entities in the unity of the relatedness constituted by their prehensions of each other, or what is the same thing conversely expressed constituted by their objectifications in each other" (Whitehead, 1978: 35). (double check page number: it does not coincide with my 1978 edition)

[26] The actual occasion's perishing is also its objective immortality: "An actual entity is to be conceived both as a subject presiding over its own immediacy of becoming, and a superject which is the atomic creature exercising its function of objective immortality. It has become a 'being'; and it belongs to the nature of every 'being' that it is a potential for every 'becoming' " (Whitehead, 1978: 71).

[27] Conversation with Forsythe, Amsterdam, June 3 2008.

[28] In Mike Figgis, Just Dancing Around.

[29] Transcript of the John Tusa Interview with William Forsythe.

[30] 'William Forsythe in the Middle - Interview between William Forsythe and Julie Copeland'.

[31] Forsythe often refers to his choreographic work as "organizing bodies." With reference to his collaboration with Thom Willems, Forsythe says: "He always wants to know what are we thinking and I say nothing, we're just […] organising bodies" (Transcript of the John Tusa Interview with William Forsythe) [32] I begin to develop the concept of relational movement in relation to the improvisational aspect of Argentine Tango in Politics of Touch: Sense, Movement, Sovereignty.

[33] See Peter Boenisch for an example of how Forsythe invites his students to participate in creating physical solutions to dramaturgic propositions in 'Decreation Inc.: William Forsythe's Equations of Bodies before the Name,' p. 20.

[34] Conversation between Forsythe and Gerard Sigmund in Ballett International/Tanz Aktuell.

[35] Conversation between Forsythe and Sigmund in Ballett International/Tanz Aktuell.

[36] Choreographic object by William Forsythe. Music: Ekkehard Ehlers. Premiere: March 15, 2002, Halle 7, Messe Frankfurt, Frankfurt am Main. For extraordinary images, see 537174230_bd3a903801.jpg%3Fv%3D0&imgrefurl= 45735%40N00/537174230/&h=375&w=500&sz=147&hl=en&start=93&um=1&us g=__vjbRBELlwxf_BEV823ok7sean5Y=&tbnid=9rwnmh0eWs0QM:&tbnh=98&tbnw=130&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dwilliam%2Bforsythe%2 6start%3D84%26ndsp%3D21%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den%26client%3Dsafari%26rl s%3Den-ca%26sa%3DN

[37] Frankfurter Rundschau 15. März 2002. See


Berger, Christiane. Körper denken in Bewegung: Zur Wahrnehmung tänzerischen
bei William Forsythe und Saburo Teshigawara (Bielefeld: Transcript Verlag,

Bergson, Henri. Matière et Mémoire (Paris: PUF, 1939).

Boenisch, Peter M. 'Decreation Inc.: William Forsythe's Equations of Bodies before the Name', Contemporary Theatre Review, Vol 7(1), 2007, 15-27.

Caspersen, Dana. 'Der Körper Denkt: Form, Sehen, Disziplin und Tanz', in

William Forsythe - Denken in Bewegung (Berlin: Henschel Verlag, 2004).

---. 'It Starts from Any Point: Bill and the Frankfurt Ballet' in William Forsythe - Choreography and Dance, ed. Senta Driver, Vol 5 Part 3 (2000), pp. 25-40.

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---. Bergsonism, trans. Hugh Tomlinson and Barbara Habberjam (New York:

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(eds), Interfaces and Performance (London, Ashgate Publishing: 2009).

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Königshausen und Neumann, 2003).

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Forsythe, William, Suspense, ed. Markus Weisbeck (Zurich: Ursula Blickle

---. 'The John Tusa Interviews - Transcript of the John Tusa Interview
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entretien de
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  INFLeXions No. 2 (Jan. 2009)
Rhythmic Nexus: the Felt Togetherness of Movement and Thought

edited by S. Portonova

Editorial: The Complexity of Collabor(el)ations
Stamatia Portanova

Trilogie Stroboscopique + Lilith
Antonin De Bemels

The Speculative Generalization of the Function: A Key to Whitehead
James Bradley

Propositions for the Verge: William Forsythe's Choreographic Objects
Erin Manning

Extensive Continuum: Towards a Rhythmic Anarchitecture
Steve Goodman & Luciana Parisi

Feeling Feelings: the Work of Russell Dumas through Whitehead's Process and Reality
Philipa Rothfield

Against Full Frontal
Alanna Thain

edited by N. Prévost and B. Scliar Mancini
go to Tangent interface >

*note: these require Flash capabilities

Walking Distance from the Studio*
Francis Alÿs

The Red Line
Lex Braes

Research-Creation Collaboration*
Marie Brassard & Alessander MacSween

Occasional Experiences Series (excerpts)*
Gerardo Cibelli

Spatial Vibration: string-based instrumen, study II, 2008*
Olafur Eliasson

Hand's Door*
Michel Groisman

Louise Lecavalier

Otto Oscar Hernández Ruiz

Bending Back In a Field of Experience*
João da Silva

How I learned to stop loving and worry about Dubai*
Charles Stankievech

Vinil Filmes