Choreographic Objects: contemporary dance, digital creations, and prototyping social visibility

James Leach

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


Several successful contemporary dance companies in Europe are experimenting with new ways of presenting choreography and movement utilising digital media. Here, an analysis is offered of the context in which these innovations are stimulated, focusing on their efforts to demonstrate that contemporary dance is a ‘knowledge-producing’ endeavour. I tie this to the demands of knowledge economies. I then offer an analysis of specific projects and the ‘choreographic objects’ that result from them utilising exchange theory drawn in part from Melanesian anthropology. The resulting analysis of things-in-the-making and things-in-circulation reveals how choreographic objects are shaped by dance practitioners' views of themselves, their interests, and their desire to control perceptions of their practice as well as by the need to find an appropriate mode in which to demonstrate the value of this practice through the transfer of knowledge. The move towards ‘knowledge production’ and towards recasting relationships with audiences are construed as experiments with the form of social relations through new forms of transaction. I come to re-present the digital creations of dance companies as ‘prototype’ forms for relational engagement with audiences and the wider public.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)458-475
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Cultural Economy
Issue number4
Early online date22 Nov 2013
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • choreography
  • thinking
  • digital media
  • knowledge economies
  • exchange prototypes


Dive into the research topics of 'Choreographic Objects: contemporary dance, digital creations, and prototyping social visibility'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this