Dr. Susanne Foellmer
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Dr. Susanne Foellmer

Reader of Dance

My Research Vision

Taking dance and choreography as a core of my research, I am largely interested in regarding those as impetus and nexus for a wider perspective on what movement releases and implies in both the narrower field of the performing arts ­– for instance examining the ontological challenges when it comes to archiving and reconstruction – as well as in areas more or less akin to it, involving for instance a critical view on sociability and politicality from a dance and choreography point of view.

Bridging those fields, an important focus of mine lies on the understanding of dance theory as a specific critical practice, as well as reflecting artistic work in interdisciplinary research contexts and the social and political field.

Biography

Dr. Susanne Foellmer is a dance and theatre scholar. She received her PhD at Freie Universität Berlin, focusing on unfinished corporealities in contemporary dance and performance art. Educated at the Instiute for Applied Theatre Studies at the Justus-Liebig-Universität Giessen (MA degree) her dissertation dealt with dance and drama in the Weimar Era with a special focus on the dancer and actress Valeska Gert, dealing also with re-presentations of gender, politics and inter/mediality.

Her most recent research approaches dance and performance from the perspective of “leftovers”, being examined in her current project “On Remnants and Vestiges. Strategies of Remaining in the Performing Arts” (funded by German Research Foundation/DFG).

Collaborating with scholars on an interdisciplinary level in the field of sociology and communication studies at Freie Univerisitaet Berlin, she is furthermore investigating in the interrelations of dance and politics, particularly with regard to choreographies of locally executed protest in topical situations of social riot and its globally distributed social mediatisation (e.g flash mobs).

Besides, Susanne works as a dramaturge in dance and theatre, with Helena Botto, Dance Company Rubato, Isabelle Schad, and Jeremy Wade, among others. She also has been active as a curator in dance exhibitions and for the Dance Congress 2009 at Kampnagel, Hamburg.

In the broader context of outside academia cultural work she acted as a member of the Jury for Dance and Theatre at the Berlin Senate, Department for Cultural Affairs as well as chair of the umbrella association Contemporary Dance Berlin (ZTB).

Selected Outputs

Monographs:

  • Foellmer, S. (2009) Am Rand der Körper. Inventuren des Unabgeschlossenen im zeitgenössischen Tanz (On the Bodies’ Edge. Inventories of the Unfinished in Contemporary Dance); Bielefeld, transcript. 
  • Foellmer, S. (2006) Valeska Gert. Fragmente einer Avantgardistin in Tanz und Schauspiel der 1920er Jahre (Valeska Gert. Fragments of a Vanguard Dancer and Actress in the 1920s); Bielefeld, transcript, incl. CD-ROM.

Chapters in Books, Journal Articles:

  • Foellmer, S. (2016) ‘Kipp-Momente: Bildkritik als Praxis der historischen Tanzavantgarde am Beispiel Valeska Gerts’ (Tilting Effects. Iconographic Critique as Practice of the Historic Avant-garde Exemplified By Valeska Gert) in Jahn, T./ Wittrock, E. and Wortelkamp, I. (eds) Fotolabor: Tanz 1900-1920. Methodologische und historiografische Reflexionen von Tanzfotografie (Photographic Laboratory: Dance 1900-1920. Methodological and Historiographic Reflections on Dance Photography); Bielefeld, transcript.
  • Foellmer. S. (2015) ‘Komische Tänze. Wie der Witz in den Körper kommt’ (Comic Dances. How Wit is Entering the Body) in Fischer-Lichte, E./ Strätling, R. (eds) Witty Art. Der Witz und seine Beziehung zu den Künsten (Witty Art. Wit and Its Relation to the Arts); Munich: Fink.
  • Foellmer, S. (2014) ‘Re-Cyclings. Shifting Time, Changing Genre in the Moving Museum’, in Dance Research Journal, Special Issue Dance and the Museum; Vol. 46/3.
  • Foellmer, S. (2014) ‘Reenactments und andere Wieder-Holungen’ (Re-enactments and Other Repetitions) in Döhl, F. and Wöhrer, R. (eds), Referenzielle Verfahren in den Gegenwartskünsten (Referential Practises in Contemporary Arts); Bielefeld, transcript,.
  • Foellmer S. (2014) ‘Tanzwissenschaft’ (Dance Studies) in Schröter, J. (ed) Handbuch Medienwissenschaft (Handbook Media Studies); Stuttgart: Metzler.
  • Foellmer, S. (2013) ‘Language – Code – Gesture: Patterns of Movement in Artistic Dance from the Baroque Until Today’, in: Müller, C./ Fricke, E./ Cienki, A./ McNeilll, D. (eds) Body – Language – Communication. An International Handbook, Berlin/New York, Mouton de Gruyter.
  • Foellmer. S. (2013) ‘Un/Doing Gender. De/Konstruktionen von Geschlecht in der Choreographie’ (The De/Construction of Sex in Choreography) in Angerer, M.-L./ Hardt, Y. and Weber, A. (eds) Choreografie – Medien – Gender (Choreography – Media – Gender); Berlin: diaphanes.
  • Foellmer, S. (2012) ‘Between Image and Volatility. Framing Motion in Dance and Film’, in Sternagel, J./ Levitt, D. and Mersch, D. (eds) Acting and Performance in Moving Image Culture: Bodies, Screens, Renderings; Bielefeld, transcript.
  • Foellmer, S. ‘Next Generations: Thoughts on the Now in the Future’, in: Brandstetter, G. and  Klein, G. (eds) Dance [and] Theory; Bielefeld, transcript.
  • Foellmer. S. (2012) ‘Les danses du dépassement. Le corps grotesque chez Valeska Gert’ in Gabaude, F./ Leberre, A. and Wellnitz, Ph. (eds) Grotesque et spatialité dans les arts du spectacle et de l'image, Brussels, Peter Lang.
  • Foellmer, S. (2010) ‘Choreographie des Erzählens. Bemerkungen zu einer neuen Narration im zeitgenössischen Tanz’ (Choreography of Narration. Notes on New Ways of Storytelling in Contemporary Dance) in Lampert, F. (ed), Choreographieren reflektieren (Rethinking Choreography); Berlin/Münster: Lit.
  • Foellmer, S. (2008) ‘‘Andere Räume’. Oszillationen zwischen Körper und Kamera’ (‘Different Spaces’ – Diffusions Between Body and Camera) in Paech, J. and Schröter, J. (eds) Intermedialität Analog/Digital. Theorien – Methoden – Analysen (Intermediality Analogue/Digital. Theories – Methods – Analysis); Munich: Fink.

Selected Projects

  • On Remnants and Vestiges. Strategies of Remaining in the Performing Arts: The project investigates the challenges inherent in remaining and preserving in the fields of dance, music theatre and performance that otherwise operate under the primacy of presence. The project is divided into three subjects. In the first, strategies of remaining between performance and documentation as well as the ontological challenges are analysed with a focus on dance and performance art (Susanne Foellmer: Reprises. On the Phenomenon of Remaining in Dance and Performance). The second field of research deals with performance videos as a dynamic memory preservation that creates tension between the performance and its recorded remnants (Cornelia Schmitz, senior research assistant: Remembering/Forgetting Experience. Audiovisual Recordings as Instruments of Performance Analysis of Music Theatre). The third part then investigates the phenomena of citation in dance as a figure of reception and perception (Katharina Schmidt, senior research assistant: Tracing Quotation. Phenomena of Recurrence in Dance).
  • Mediatised Choreographies of Protest: Preparation of the planned research project on choreography as a medium of protest, in the framework of the research group “Media Practises. Neue Formen des Öffentlichen im Wandel sozialer Ordnungen” (Media Practises. New Modes of the Public Within Changing Social Systems, FU Berlin).
Research breakout image

Reader of Dance

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