How does the production of performance engage with the fundamental issues of our advanced neo-capitalist age?

André Lepecki surveys a decade of experimental choreography to uncover the dual meaning of ‘performance’ in the twenty-first century: not just an aesthetic category, but a mode of political power. He demonstrates the enduring ability of performance to critique and subvert this power, examining this relationship through five ‘singularities’ in contemporary dance: thingness, animality, persistence, darkness, and solidity.

Exploring the works of Mette Ingvartsen, Yvonne Rainer, Ralph Lemon, Jérôme Bel and others, Lepecki uses his concept of ‘singularity’—the resistance of categorization and aesthetic identification—to examine the function of dance and performance in political and artistic debate.

chapter |25 pages


Dance and the age of neoliberal performance

chapter 2|30 pages

In the dark

chapter 3|30 pages

Limitrophies of the human

Monstrous nature, thingly life, and the wild animal

chapter 4|28 pages

The body as archive

Will to reenact and the afterlives of dances

chapter 5|27 pages

Choreographic angelology

The dancer as worker of history (or, remembering is a hard thing)

chapter 6|7 pages


Four notes on witnessing performance in the age of neoliberal dis-experience