Choreomania and Affective Currents. Remarks on "The Dancing Public" by Mette Ingvartsen

Keywords: coreomania, voce, embodiment, new materialism, body archive


The history of choreomania recounts how a dancing crowd in the streets has consistently been viewed with suspicion. Estatic explosions of relentless dances, sudden spasmodic movements, bodily convulsions, and uncontainable gestures have recursively involved groups of people in public spaces, provoking religious condemnation, moral disapproval, political control maneuvers, and medical discourse-driven pathologization. Choreographer and researcher Mette Ingvartsen devotes a substantial period of investigation to this topic, leading to the performance The Dancing Public, a performance that invites the spectators to experience dancing together, to dwell within the sympathetic vibration collectively produced. The essay analyzes the writing of body and voice, conceived by Ingvartsen in the aftermath of forced confinement, biomedical controls of the anti-pandemic agenda of Covid-19, revealing a biopolitical unease rooted in the present that retro- actively engages with history through a choreography of affections.


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Author Biography

Piersandra Di Matteo, Iuav University of Venice

Performing arts scholar, dramaturge, and curator. She is the artistic director of Short Theatre Festival in Rome (2021-2024) and director of the Multidisciplinary Residencies in the Académie of the Festival d’art lyrique d'Aix-en-Provence. She is member of research project «INCOMMON» and of the SSH! Sound Studies Hub at University IUAV of Venice, where she teaches “Curation in Performing Arts”. She has been invited to hold conferences and seminars in international research centres and Universities at Hong Kong, Shanghai, London, Singapore, Montréal, Amsterdam, New York City, Philadelphia, San Paolo, Belo Horizonte, and called as visiting scholar at MESTC/CUNY of New York (2017). Member of the scientific committee of the Journal «Sound Stage Screen - SSS» and part of the editorial board of «Turba. The Journal for Global Practices in Live Arts Curation». For more than 15 years, she has been Romeo Castellucci’s most close theoretical collaborator and dramaturge, working in prominent international theaters and festival. Recent publications: A bocca chiusa. Effetti di ventriloquio e scena contemporanea (Luca Sossella Editore 2024), performance + curatela (Luca Sossella Editore 2021), con A. Sacchi e I. Caleo, In fiamme. La performance nello spazio delle lotte (1967-1979) (bruno 2021). She also edited the translated the book Brandon LaBelle, Giustizia Acustica. Ascoltare ed essere ascoltati (NERO Editions, 2023).

How to Cite
Di Matteo, P. (2023). Choreomania and Affective Currents. Remarks on "The Dancing Public" by Mette Ingvartsen. Mimesis Journal, 12(2), 43-66.