International percolations of disability aesthetics in dance and theatre

Czymoch, Christiane; Schmidt, Yvonne; Maguire-Rosier, Kate (2021). International percolations of disability aesthetics in dance and theatre In: Severn, John R.; Garde, Ulrike (eds.) Theatre and Internationalization Perspectives from Australia, Germany, and Beyond (pp. 232-249). Abingdon, New York: Routledge 10.4324/9781003028406

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Internationalization has long been an important resource for aesthetic exchange and structural development in the performing arts. Acknowledging this, the chapter adopts a critical approach towards internationalization, examining it from a disability perspective, questioning, in particular, inherent neoliberal connotations and the force of standardization. The starting point is a historical analysis of the impact that German-speaking world ‘Ausdruckstanz’ or ‘The New Dance’ and choreographer Pina Bausch’s ‘tanztheater’ had on Australian dance. It opened up the genre to non-normative corporealities, contributing to global percolations of a disability aesthetic. Empirical research further provides insight into the exemplary work of Swiss ensemble Theater HORA and Austrian choreographer Michael Turinsky. The first example shows a growing professional recognition of the singular learning-disabled artist in a global theatre scene, at the cost, however, of ensemble structures which become remodelled to be ‘more flexible’. The rehearsal technique of accessing the ensemble’s collective memory, though, emerges as a kind of resistance against this remodelling. Turinsky’s production builds an international collective of performers that circumnavigates power structures inherent to spoken language by creating solidarization through corporeal communication. The chapter thus shows how the performing body referencing a disability aesthetic becomes a political locus for creating cultural knowledge.

Item Type:

Book Section (Book Chapter)


Bern Academy of the Arts
Bern Academy of the Arts > Institute Practices and Theories in the Arts


Czymoch, Christiane;
Schmidt, Yvonne;
Maguire-Rosier, Kate;
Severn, John R. and
Garde, Ulrike








Yvonne Schmidt

Date Deposited:

31 Jan 2022 13:59

Last Modified:

31 Jan 2022 13:59

Publisher DOI:



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