Choreographing Discourses brings together essays originally published by Mark Franko between 1996 and the contemporary moment. Assembling these essays from international, sometimes untranslated sources and curating their relationship to a rapidly changing field, this Reader offers an important resource in the dynamic scholarly fields of Dance and Performance Studies.

What makes this volume especially appropriate for undergraduate and graduate teaching is its critical focus on twentieth- and twenty-first-century dance artists and choreographers – among these, Oskar Schlemmer, Merce Cunningham, Kazuo Ohno, William Forsythe, Bill T. Jones, and Pina Bausch, some of the most high-profile European, American, and Japanese artists of the past century. The volume’s constellation of topics delves into controversies that are essential turning points in the field (notably, Still/Here and Paris is Burning), which illuminate the spine of the field while interlinking dance scholarship with performance theory, film, visual, and public art.

The volume contains the first critical assessments of Franko’s contribution to the field by André Lepecki and Gay Morris, and an interview incorporating a biographical dimension to the development of Franko’s work and its relation to his dance and choreography. Ultimately, this Reader encourages a wide scope of conversation and engagement, opening up core questions in ethics, embodiment, and performativity.

chapter |12 pages


chapter 1|16 pages

Writing for the body

Notation, reconstruction, and reinvention in dance

chapter 4|12 pages

Splintered Encounters

The critical reception of William Forsythe in the US, 1979–1989 1

chapter 5|15 pages

Archaeological Choreographic Practices

Foucault and Forsythe

chapter 6|7 pages


Re-translating the encounter between Peter Welz, William Forsythe, and Francis Bacon

chapter 7|13 pages

Dance and Figurability

chapter 9|11 pages

The Ready-Made as Movement

Cunningham, Duchamp, and Nam June Paik’s two Merces

chapter 11|20 pages

The Dancing Gaze Across Cultures

Kazuo Ohno’s Admiring La Argentina

chapter 12|10 pages

Bausch and the Symptom

chapter 13|13 pages

The Quarrel of the Queen and the Transvestite

Sexuality, class, and subculture in Paris is Burning

chapter 15|11 pages

In the Company of Donya Feuer

An interdisciplinary method

chapter 16|51 pages

In conversation

Alessandra Nicifero with Mark Franko