Dancing the Landscape: Ecological Practices bewteen Choreography and Territory

Keywords: biopolitics, corporeality, choreography, dance studies, aesthetics


The article investigates how dance and landscape relate by adopting an interdisciplinary perspective that integrates landscape disciplines, and sustainability sciences, with performance studies and dance disciplines. Applying this lens, it intends to include some significant phenomena and processes that dance has undertaken in the last century concerning natural environments. From the ‘pioneers’ of modern dance Isadora Duncan and Rudolf Laban to Anna Halprin’s research in the second half of the 20th century, the movement of the body has confronted natural spaces in various ways, acting together with the landscape and not simply occupying it. In the 1990s, the development of ecological research within the performing arts further confirmed this investigation through ecoperformance (Maura Baiocchi) and ecodance, highlighting how artistic work could be constituted by integrating natural elements while denying the centrality of the body. A dynamic that will have a considerable influence on subsequent generations. We will focus on the ‘third dance landscape’ in Italy, as Acca defines it, where some artists investigate the possibilities of inhabiting natural and public space through dance such as DOM- and Fabrizio Favale. In order to better define the latter, we will focus on the processuality of two works created within the project Bodyscape di Danza Urbana (2022): Sull’irrequietezza del divenire by Elisa Sbaragli, Edoardo Sansonne and Fabio Brusadin and La möa. Danza per corpo e torrente by Lorenzo Morandini. Both these projects are realised in public spaces and integrate a strong relationship with the landscape understood as a cultural and natural element.


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Author Biography

Emanuele Regi, Alma Mater Studiorum – University of Bologna

Since January 2022, Emanuele Regi has been a PON PhD student at the University of Bologna for the Visual, Performing and Media Arts course. He is currently working on a project concerning the relations between performing arts and natural spaces in the context of UNESCO MAB Reserves. At the same university, he collaborates as a tutor for the chairs of History of the Theatre and Performing Arts (Prof. Matteo Paoletti) and Organisation and Economics of the Performing Arts (Prof. Matteo Casari). He is a member of the editorial board of Anthropology and Theatre'.

How to Cite
Regi, E. (2023). Dancing the Landscape: Ecological Practices bewteen Choreography and Territory. Mimesis Journal, 12(2), 175-190. https://doi.org/10.4000/mimesis.2840