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Hypertext as a structuring system within a digital choreographic context

Charlotte Miles
University College Chichester
May 2005


In order to produce a dance piece the choreographer must first create a movement vocabulary. Once this selection of movements has been generated, the issue of how to configure the action arises. If the choreographer chooses to move away from the much tried and tested structural forms, what other possibilities exist for these artists?

As we embrace the twenty-first century, the age of interdisciplinary arts, we can see new structuring mechanisms occurring when art forms relate. In this study I will be looking specifically at the blending of literary theory and dance composition, to identify whether the relatively new idea of hypertext, a system for structuring text in a non-linear, interactive form, can credibly be utilised as a means of structuring digital dance1. My research which shall employ both print media and hypermedia, in the form of online articles and hypertext systems, will be led by the questions that I have encountered throughout my own investigative process and that of others.

In chapter one the discussion will begin on the growth of hypertext as a literary form and its affinity with the ideas of the open-ended work. This shall then lead onto chapter two, where the principles of hypertext will be identified in relation to digital dance and interactive performance. To elaborate on my process as an artist, chapter three will document ‘Knowhere?’(2005), a piece which aims to answer the question ‘Is hypertext a viable structuring system within a digital choreographic context?

1 The term digital dance shall hereby be used in reference to dance which exists through the use of ‘new’ technologies.’


intro : what : works : writing