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Introduction: The practice of choreography: Steven Spier

BySTEVEN SPIER

In his ‘An Essay on Tolstoy’s View of History’1 (1953) Isaiah Berlin famously quotes the ancient Greek poet Archilochus that, ‘The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing’, to develop a taxonomy of writers and thinkers. Hedgehogs relate everything to a single central vision or organising principle while foxes are:

those who pursue many ends, often unrelated and even contradictory, connected, if at all, only in some de facto way … related to no moral or aesthetic principle. These last lead lives, perform acts and entertain ideas that are centrifugal rather than centripetal; their thought is scattered or diffused, moving on many levels, seizing upon the essence of a vast variety of experience and objects.