Virtuosity in Dance Performance: A Vehicle for Seeing Humanness

Bryn Cohn

Introduction

Technical prowess and artistic expression cohere to create the phenomenon of dance performance: extreme command over one’s body-- breath, muscular effort, the potential of physical risk—makes possible tangible demonstration of humanness. Virtuosity is associated with individuals exhibiting superb skill and mastery:  whether moving and speaking simultaneously or executing pedestrian action juxtaposed with grandiose phrase work, superior proficiency connects us to our own realities. By examining the works of contemporary dance makers Crystal Pite, David Dorfman, and Ohad Naharin and contrasting them with the Balanchine trope, I seek a definition of virtuosity applicable to my own work; an understanding of how supernatural aptitude may enable the audience to recognize and connect with the person within the performer. Research by Susan Leigh Foster, Liz Lerman and Meg Stuart supports my inquiry, elucidating how we relate to and live inside our own visceral experiences when we watch performance.  Finally, through the experience of evaluating and analyzing my own work Skin, I recognize how choreographic choice-making and composition support an understanding of virtuosity that requires recognition of the performer as a relatable human being.

Pite, Balanchine, Dorfman, Stuart – Toward a Definition of Virtuosity

Humans move. Our arms reach out, our knees collapse, our heads nod, our chests cave in, our backs arch, we clench our fists, we jump, we shrug, we pick each other up, we push each other away… this is language just as much as it is action. This is what the body has to say about need, defeat, courage, despair, desire, joy, ambivalence, frustration, love. These images resonate meaningfully in our minds because we have all felt these things so purely in our bodies.
— Pite, 2012

Traditional understanding of virtuosity correlated to the facility, proficiency and exactitude encountered in ballet. In contrast to current sociocultural desires to explore content-driven material, I find that George Balanchine emphasized abstract ideals, diminishing the value of emotive expression in ballet. Pioneers of a new era in dance such as Crystal Pite instead utilize balletic idioms as a tool to speak directly to themes of love, loss and conflict.

In her lecture Conflict Is Vital, Pite (2012) describes dance as a system through which we create platforms for universal movement. She identifies pedestrian languages as a modality for her audiences to connect with, thus the foundation from which to craft inclusive performative experiences. The container of performance is the method through which these actions become physical expertise and are framed. Pite provides the example of Solo Echo (2013), a work commissioned by Nederlands Dans Theater in which she creates a loose story line about one man, represented by seven dancers, who is reckoning with himself at the end of his life. The audience witnesses solos and duets that distort and reclassify classical ballet by incorporating elements of punch and accent, as well as unanticipated changes in tempo, quality and direction. For example, an attitude derriere within a partnering phrase develops swing and combusting momentum to bleed into intricate floor work, running or even walking. Thus, ballet vocabulary, often correlated to virtuosity within the body, becomes something more: a launching point to delve into humanized expression.

Balanchine stated, “…dancers are just like flowers, and flowers grow without any literal meaning, they are just beautiful” (Croce, 2009). In placing a premium on “beauty” and diminishing the value of cultivating an accessible artist/human, ballet was navigated towards homogeneity. Balanchine attempted to disassemble individualism and emotionality—the same qualities that choreographers such as Pite are now driven to safeguard and endorse. The resulting balletic lexicons demonstrate how the choreographer understands virtuosity:  as spectacle, or as an insight into the human condition.   

In Pite’s understanding,

Balance feels still and peaceful so I am looking for the energy that is created by tension. A tension between rigor and recklessness, between the intellect and the instinct, between the need to respect traditional ways and the need to subvert them.
— Pite, 2012

By simultaneously utilizing and deconstructing classical form in Solo Echo, Pite comments on and challenges the urgency, trial and conflict that associate with the ending of one’s life. I find that Pite and Balanchine employ similar physical lexicons yet the pathos Balanchine denies is precisely what enables Pite’s work to thrive.

Pite (2012) speaks to a desire to “create performances where audiences can connect to their own bodies through the dancer – to see themselves, to recognize their own experiences and their dramas translated into fierce physical language.” Fierce, as a word choice, suggests a refined grasp on one’s kinesthetic experience. Her sentiments indicate the vitality of movement itself, and acknowledge the significance of the experience of the spectator. To hold someone’s hand, to be held, to fall, to get back up, to sprint are all visceral threads of connection between audience and performer despite the disparate lenses through which we experience them. In opposition, Balanchine degraded the power of viewership:  “a lot of people go to the theatre to see their own life, their own experience. We don’t give them that in ballet. We give them something less” (Croce, 2009).

Balanchine’s desire to give “less” prompts a colossal question as to the purpose of dance and its role within a societal landscape. Do we attend performance to escape and disconnect or to tether to and shed new light upon our human condition? Do we solely yearn to witness a demonstration of beauty? Balanchine seems to mock the viewer who sees dance as a process to mirror life. “I’m married, my wife and children have left me, and I’m unhappy and feel that I’m going to kill myself. And that’s what I think Art is - people should play for me my story” (Croce, 2009). While both Balanchine and Pite reference and employ a ballet-trained body, their intentions and directorial strategies differ immensely. Balanchine negates the potential for dance to make significant strides for collective awareness, a pillar upon which many artistic practices are built today.  One such practice is that of David Dorfman.

On November 10th, 2017 David Dorfman Dance premiered a full-length evening titled Aroundtown at Brooklyn Academy of Music in Brooklyn, New York. Utilizing text, film projection, live music and cameos by Dorfman and his wife, longtime performer Lisa Race, Aroundtown explores the intricacies, nuances and complexities of love. Throughout Aroundtown, Dorfman constructs a fully realized interdisciplinary world that exposes the dancers’ bodies, emotions and unique voices with transparency and vulnerability. He speaks to human realities of connection, betrayal and isolation through both movement and choreographic design.

Unlike Pite and Balanchine, Dorfman’s postmodern aesthetic does not root in the balletic standard. The dancers’ limbs fling and fly to great heights, and the qualitative finesse strays far from strict acuity. Despite a seemingly lax energy, the way the dancers engage with one another visually, physically and structurally uncovers something sacred about their dynamic. The performers execute the same choreography with different technical capabilities and aesthetic inclinations. For example, in a floppy jump a la seconde performed in unison, some legs are straight while others are bent, and some feet are pointed while others are flexed. Despite the lack of specificity that permeates much of the movement itself, virtuosity emanates from the recklessness and fearlessness of the dancers’ interpersonal interactions. The company charges through weaving patterns with affection, smiling and giggling as they toss one another through the air with risk amidst bursts of leaps and energetic combustions.

Accompanied by quirky Tim Burton-esque projections designed by Shawn Hove as well as purely music interludes, Dorfman’s dancers break their movement streams by engaging directly with one another and the audience via speeches and powerful soliloquies. Words become interchangeable with complex turns and lifts as Dorfman encourages dialogue and choreography to exist in a symbiotic and organic bond. We are invited into the experience in the way the dancers directly engage with the audience, as if having a personal conversation with each person in witness. The most poignant demonstration of virtuosity in the work occurs in a compelling solo speech by Simon Thomas Train that couples with ensemble partnering. Dorfman reveals the impetus for his title, Aroundtown, as Train lies as if dead on the floor, angry and hopeless, addressing the audience directly. The dancers crowd him and pick up his body as he angrily screams “so don’t tell me you’re around if you’re not around because then you’re just fucking around and I’m not fucking around.” He repeats this several times, becoming more exasperated as the five remaining dancers aspire to restrain him from diving at the audience as if they could drop him in any moment. “You said you would be around and you’re not around so don’t tell me you’re around if you’re not around. I don’t want you around me, I don’t want you around me…” The dancers subsequently carry him around the space as he hovers inches above the ground, his focus fixated on us, as he shouts demands as to where to carry him and what he wants. The brute strength exhibited by the company to control Train’s jerking body is simultaneously formidable and fallible.

Choreographer Meg Stuart’s Are We Here Yet (2011) references “dancing states”—psychological and emotional conditions of the performer—and explores how these internal experiences reveal themselves in performance:

Try to fly. Try to be in two places at once. Try to disappear. To try explode. Try to erase yourself. Try to become your own shelter… I am obsessed with failure, with seeing someone onstage attempting an impossible task
— Stuart, 2011: 44

As Dorfman’s dancers test the edges of physical capability in collectively carrying a robust Train around the stage, the audience witnesses the strength the dancers must employ—a new way to understand how virtuosity grounds us in humanized response. Flirting with failure suggests an aspiration towards performing a sequence or action that is nearly impossible. As Pite has said,

I find it really compelling to see a performer dancing right on the very edge of their ability… there is conflict inherent in the effort of trying to achieve something that is really difficult that is either physically tricky, complicated, really fast or really tiring.
— Pite, 2012

There is rawness experienced through exhibitions of brute muscularity, similar to how one may feel after a strenuous work out or aspiring to lift heavy boxes. Every single body has attempted a similar practice of extreme effort, whatever the logistics and situation.

            In another section of Aroundtown, dancer Jasmine Hearn approaches the furthest downstage point, creating a jarring break within the previous partnering and phrase work section. The lights blare into the house as she states, “I see you. I see you. Yah you. And I’m falling deeply into your eyes. Those two black spots. And your heart. Your blue heart pumping your blue blood… And I know it might be a little too soon, and you don’t have to say it back. I hate you. I hate you so much. I am madly in hate with you.” She squeals and breathes heavily and giggles throughout until the speech turns serious. She screams, “I hate you” with a tone, power and demeanor that reminds us of our own fights, battles and turmoil. Like Dorfman, Stuart actively cultivates the relationship between performer and spectator:  “I want the audience to be able to enter the world of the performer, to root for them, to sympathise with them, get annoyed, gain and lose confidence in them” (Stuart, 15). A poignant and critical aspect of being a dancer is the generosity one demonstrates towards his or her onlookers; in Hearn’s moment, it is not solely her physical state but her emotional transparency that informs us to densely invest in her as an individual.

            Stuart asks “if the performers are not able to enter into extreme states, to expose themselves, then how can you even show traces of those states on stage?” (Stuart, 8) Dorfman grounds his choreographic approach in how he employs, and often exploits, the unabashed ways his dancers selflessly offer themselves—a virtuosity that transcends physicality, rather exhibiting a ferociously public way of being, psychologically and kinesthetically. Aroundtown blurs lines between realism and performance in not only destroying a third wall between performers and audience but creating a world where the rules of engagement force all to function on the precipice of recklessness. Again, Stuart:

You need performers who can fail, who can literally lose all sense of where they are, lose control and be completed trashed or enraged. You need performers who are willing to enter unstable places, which is an ability that goes beyond technical skill.
— Stuart, 2011: 8

Stuart differentiates between physical states such as headaches and holding someone’s hand, and emotional states such as joy, regret and shame. She welcomes all of these various states into her kinesthetic and choreographic practices as a means of inviting the whole self into the process. Life reveals facets of our being that are ugly, strange, confusing and beautiful—Dorfman, like Stuart and Pite, bases his work on revealing a full spectrum. The element of risk-taking that unveils itself through specificity as well as robust action is the place where we detect a real person. For Stuart, Pite and Dorfman, the body becomes a vessel to communicate how we offer ourselves to our dancing not solely as performers but as imperfect creatures of the world.

Beyond the virtuosity of individual dancers, and despite differing vocabularies, both Pite and Dorfman utilize the compositional tools of space, time and geometric patterning to reach a collective virtuosity. In an ensemble section within Solo Echo, we observe intricate compositions of bodies that build rapidly then crumble, suggesting hopeful energy that releases into a disaster-stricken state. Convoluted patterns of limbs merge and disassemble through touch, release, rejection and support. Through complex craft, we see the human experience that matches Pite’s intention and her use of a

collective body with unfolding and collapsing structures that require a lot of cooperation and coordination and consonance between the dancers. Its component parts are individuals but as a whole it is its own expansive and complex being.
— Pite, 2012

Similarly, Dorfman roots in communal empathy and shared understanding to convey his material. He manipulates time by playing with speed gradations within the material. A motif of extreme slow motion is seen frequently throughout Aroundtown, which manifests not only in the dancers’ bodies but also in their faces. In one section, six performers morph from a state of love to an extreme display of aggression. As they beat one another down to the floor or pretend to punch faces, they move with utmost slowness, requiring an abundance of skill and muscular control. This comedic play is only made possible by the keenness of the dancers coupled with Dorfman’s qualitative decisions, his theatrical intention reliant upon the physical capabilities of his company. In this moment, the performers deliver similar partnering mechanics and gesture but as opposed to within the earlier phrase work, the precision is vital to the thematic drive. Dorfman’s work elucidates various principles set out in Susan Leigh Foster’s Choreographing Empathy (2011), particularly her explanation of performance as an act of community, affirming social engagement and endorsing cooperation.

Foster, Lerman, Naharin, Bausch – The Pedestrian as Virtuosic Movement

Foster has defined choreography as “a theorization of identity – corporeal, individual and social” (2011, 4); postulating dance as a vehicle to create collective experience and an amalgamation of shared cultural and political ideologies. In concert with the work of Randy Martin, Mark Franko and Thomas DeFrantz, Foster proposes an understanding of how movement languages generate empathy.

Foster describes John Weaver’s experimentation with pantomime that helped to launch the new genre of the story ballet as an early example of story telling through dance. Before Balanchine’s rejection of “exciting false empathy in the spectator”, in the 1740s and 1750s groundbreaking pantomime ballets introduced such narrative (Croce, 2009). Weaver explored rhetorical gesture in choreographing dances that revealed plot or conversational components without the usage of text, either sung or spoken. In 1717, for The Loves of Mars and Venus, Weaver published two documents describing the performance, one for action and one for plot. He wrote:

…the Spectator should know some of the most particularly gestures made use of therein; and what Passions, or Affections, they discover; represent’ or express. Admiration is discover’d by the raising up of the right Hand, the Palm turn’d upwards, the Fingers clos’d; and in one Motion the Wrist turn’d round and Fingers spread; the Body reclining, and Eyes fix’d on the Object; but when it rises to Astonishment, both Hands are thrown up towards the Skies; the Eyes also lifted up, and the Body cast backwards.
— Foster 2011, 36

Weaver described admiration and astonishment with a very explicit set of physical instructions. Whether in the 1700s or today, we often associate the intent of a dance with specific movements that have established meaning. Gaze, positions, facings, facial expressions and gestures all aid in representing emotion through the body. Foster references this state of transitioning from one decipherable action to the next as the “body’s ability to paint a picture”. (Foster 2011, 37)

In Hiking the Horizontal, Lerman discusses her own choreographic process as relating to her audiences. As opposed to assuming that dance is a universal language, she stresses the significant weight of context in generating shared experience, explaining that “audiences must be able to constantly shift their positions along the spectrum to meet us where we are”.  (Lerman 2011, 72) She identifies three types of meaning—representational, symbolic and informational—as ways to root this type of coinciding performer and audience engagement. Representational meaning makes direct translation from one entity to another. Symbolic meaning translates images and movement to represent something else, requiring the viewer to formulate his or her own interpretation. Informational meaning is fact stripped down to essentials, a bare and direct way of relaying content.

We can witness how symbolic meaning is interwoven in Ohad Naharin’s George & Zalman (2006), and in Pina Bausch’s Café Müller (1978).  In George & Zalman, Naharin adapts gesture and pedestrian action of the type to which Weaver referred. Performed by the Israeli Batsheva Dance Company as part of Project 5 (2010), the work is an abstract dance that maintains a simple accumulation structure. George & Zalman employs a score that is largely governed by recorded text – a poem by Charles Bukowski, recited by Bobbi Smith, one of the five female dancers.

The work opens to one female dancer standing in stillness in a wide fourth position with one foot in a demi tendu. She stares at the audience as if she is allowing us to take her in and view her in an unobstructed state. The dancer is joined by four other women who assume an array of poses including hands on head, hands over eyes and fingers pointing. Their bodies are positioned with stretch and elasticity yet their movements elicit a tangible feeling of angst. We hear the word “ignore” blare and the shapes dissolve. “Ignore all” and the gestures return with an additional movement added. Naharin volleys between codified virtuosic languages and rudimentary tasks such as walking on toes, grazing one’s own body and falling on the floor, dramatizing simple actions by placing them against refined and elegant moments. For example, the women slap their stomachs in unison with harshness then execute a skillfully articulated tendu in croise devant and pause.

In Café Müller, a dance-theater work by Bausch inspired by social interactions occurring within a café, the dancers of Tanztheater Wuppertal transform walking, running and throwing into theatrical offerings through the environments Bausch creates. The stage itself becomes a container to redefine and reimagine public happening within a private space, a café. For example, two dancers take turns in rolling and pinning one another against the walls of the stage.  Because the stage becomes a café, a place most people have visited, what occurs in the space becomes that much more relatable for the audience.  Liz Lerman addresses how “ideas, stories, and meaning flow between the bodies in an unspoken pattern of communication that comes from kinetic closeness, touch, the way weight is shared, and a history in steps” (2011, 70) For her and for Bausch, humanness seems to derive from the pedestrian action, the movements that one experiences in daily life. Café Müller lives in a world of embedded truth, offering an opportunity for us to connect to our realities, triumphs, failures or even the memory of a simple meal. By grounding in discernable content and environments, we are invited into this Café Müller.

Early twentieth century theories regarded empathy as a way “not to express a new capacity for fellow-feeling, but to register a changing sense of physicality that, in turn, influenced how one felt another’s feelings” (Foster 2011, 11). As spectators, when we see someone become enraged, sad or joyful onstage as the women do in George & Zalman, we identify with these emotions as we can connect to the visceral experience of these states. While a feeling is not physically discernable, an action is. The mutually felt physicality is what cultivates empathy. Naharin integrates various types of touch including soft tracing, sultry brushing and even aggressive slapping to illustrate this type of empathy Foster references.

Thomas DeFrantz refers to choreography as “the arrangement of motion, formulations of gender and sexuality, beauty and class mobility," and also an "unusual module of everyday American politics” (Foster 2011, 4). Foster illustrates how empathy is achieved not solely through visceral congruity but also in the body’s ability to convey awareness of cultural values through movement. Choreography maintains ability to allude to other non-dance practices, while performance “emphasizes the idiosyncratic interpretation of those values” (2011, 5). In George & Zalman, Charles Bukowski’s recited poem speaks to age, gender, sexuality, socioeconomic status and politics, his words articulating the human experience, particularly in phrases such as  “a house, a car, a belly full of beans,” “make it babe,” and “make money but don’t work too hard.” Bukowski becomes a fixture within the work as if his voice assumes a presence onstage. (Naharin 2010). We clearly understand these verbalizations that allude to cultural American values of idealism and the work ethic. A peak moment in hearing Bukowski intone “if you can’t fuck, copulate” is accompanied by a wild swinging of limbs, ronds des jambes and extensions propelling the dancers in their first sweeping usage of space. Naharin plays with counterpoint of relatable text and refined movement in the way the women deliver the action. Abandon and freedom saturate the choreography—the danced phrases emerging almost involuntarily as if communicating directly with the score they hear. Transitions in and out of precise and elegant sequences climax in charged pause, providing opportunity to hear just score in relation to the aesthetic presentation of the women (Naharin, 2010).

Like Balanchine and Pite, Naharin relies heavily upon ballet languages.  But, again like Pite, for Naharin virtuosity consists in witnessing the dancers as humans—not simply as technicians. The choreography in George & Zalman demands the extreme physical control and skill to sustain slow développé and plié sequences, but more: It is particularly through these adagio phrases, which are often frontal, when the dancers often gaze directly at us, exposing themselves with bareness and vulnerability (Naharin 2010).  

The Choreographic Impulse: Virtuosity as the Ability to Convey Humanness

In my own work, Bryn Cohn + Artists’ Skin (2015), I center the evening in concepts of creation and destruction, birth and death, and isolation and community as a means of crafting dance performance. As a dance maker, I believe that the keen sensitivity and exactitude of the performers provide launching off points to delve into sophisticated and complex content. Throughout Skin, the cast enters dualistic states of being – God and man, sculptor and subject, dictator and citizen – exploring how each person or entity might be formed; and the freedom, rebellion and heroism that accompany this process. Featuring six dancers and six mannequins, Skin creates an immersive experience as the performers cultivate their own identities in juxtaposition to the empty and emotionless physical forms. By taking on an array of characters along the path towards self-realization, the dancers have an opportunity to dismantle ideologies and stereotypes that divide them. 

The work opens to five dancers downstage slowly and methodologically moving robotically towards five mannequins upstage. As the performers approach and recognize the beings as mannequins, their movements adjoin and become more fluid, creating distinction between the inanimate figures and the dancers. The dancers face the mannequins and execute choreography in unison, establishing unifying energy against the forms that stand before them to delineate their differences. Similarly to the mannequins, one male dancer lies on an altar motionless and the rest of the ensemble begin mold, sculpt and shape him. With every precise manipulation, the dancer, Will Tomaskovic, begins to awaken, his limbs absorbing small infusions of energy. Upon receiving more instruction, his stiff face, torso and spine enliven as he develops ability to move independently. The extreme control and detail he exhibits facilitate a dense investigation of his ability to externalize both humanistic and mannequin-like personas. Tomaskovic’s demeanor assumes a militant and harsh energy, similar to a monarch with limitless reign. His vast textural range explores aggression and sharpness as if retaliating against those who had created him. Though vocabularies ground in metaphorical impotence, a narrative emerges as Tomaskovic displays brutality in his interactions with the ensemble. One by one he employs technical skill to destroy each dancer. Actions such as battement, petit allegro and intricate hand movements send each performer down to the ground with ferocious energy. Momentum-driven partnering, pirouettes and soaring jumps serve as the languages through which the dancers descend.

Like Naharin (2010), I draw upon a wide movement palette of both gestural and balletic motifs to convey tangible meaning. I seek to illustrate themes of connection and destruction in my work by speaking with movement as a reflective tool. Virtuosity—not merely technical mastery, but the ability to reveal the dancer as human—enables me to get as specific as possible both with how I direct, and choreograph the body as a transmittable vessel. In my experiences with the dancers of BC + A, I discern that the more such aptitude or skill a dancer offers, the more thorough and honed I can be in my intent. Tomaskovic, for instance, offers a superior facility that allows me to push the physical and emotional limits of how animated and articulate he can become. As well, this enhanced qualitative palette inherently makes possible a richer, more multifaceted psychological investment for Tomaskovic. Lerman refers to images or allusions that “have their own shimmery edges that let us see what the artist sees or that give us a moment of private reverie into our own experience”. (Lerman 2011, 67) Similarly to Lerman, I believe that the deeper the dancer goes, both kinesthetically and emotionally, the deeper an audience can transport into, and connect with, the world that I am crafting. Each shift of focus and minute finger placement, in addition to grandiose actions, are intrinsic towards cultivating an energy, and furthermore a thematic conversation, that sustains the universe onstage. In my collective body of work, virtuosity often manifests as the quiet moments that speak the most profoundly. Foster elucidates that “memories are not stored in the body; rather, a process of remembering is cultivated by the body” (Lerman 2011, 186). Tomaskovic’s acute embodiment allows Skin to instill realistic dialogue about our world today and the accompanying conditions that permeate our lives.

Conclusion

Though all of the works I have discussed, including George & Zalman, Café Müller, Skin, Aroundtown and Solo Echo, maintain clear distinction between audience and performer, each piece enables us to collectively relate to the corporeal and visceral experiences of movement. Martin said,

We shall cease to be mere spectators and become participants in the movement that is presented to us, and though to all outward appearances we shall be sitting quietly in our chairs, we shall nevertheless be dancing synthetically with all our musculature… these motor responses are registered by our movement – sense receptors, and awaken appropriate emotional associations akin to those which have animated the dancer in the first place.
— Foster 2011, 157

Even through sitting in stillness, our bodies and brains have recorded and translated what we see in accordance with our past movement experience thus enabling an empathetic responses. Furthermore, we assign emotional meaning to that what we feel physically – dropping one’s head slowly resembles sadness and jumping up and down resembles impatience. Pite concludes her lecture Conflict Is Vital by saying, “ephemeral as breath, concrete as bone, dance is made of you. You sculpt space, you write with your body in a wordless language that is deeply understood.” (Pite, 2012) She leaves us with a penetrating statement about the body’s role within dance, yes; but more important, its role as a tool and vehicle for community, compassion and collective awareness—a statement that understands virtuosity as a tool for recognizing our common humanity.

Works Cited

Bausch, Pina. Cafe Müller/Rite of Spring. Brooklyn, Brooklyn Academy of Music, 17 Sept. 2017. [Live Performance].

Bryn Cohn + Artists. Skin. Choreographed by Bryn Cohn, Danspace Project in St. Marks Church in-the-Bowery. 25 June 2015. [Video Recording].

Croce, Arlene. “Balanchine Said.” The New Yorker, 26 Jan. 2008. http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2009/01/26/balanchine-said

Dorfman, David. Aroundtown. Brooklyn Academy of Music, 8 November 2017. [Live Performance]. 

Foster, Susan Leigh. Choreographing Empathy: Kinesthesia in Performance. New York: Routledge, 2011.

Lerman, Liz. Hiking the Horizontal: Field Notes. Connecticut: Wesleyan University Press, 2011.

Naharin, Ohad/Batsheva Dance Company. Project 5. Choreographed by Ohad Naharin, The Joyce Theater, New York, New York. 23 September 2010. [Film Recording].

Pite, Crystal. “Conflict is Vital.” CreativeMornings/Vancouver, September 2012, W2 Media Café & GDC/BC, Vancouver, 111 W Hastings St, Vancouver, BC V6B 1G8, Canada. Recorded Lecture.

Stuart, Meg. Damaged Goods; Are We Here Yet. Edited by Jeroen Peters. France: Presses Du Reel, 2011: 8; 14 – 29; 44 – 45.