13 May 2013

Critique of Pure Movement

‘Pure movement is a movement that has no other connotations. It is not functional or pantomimic. Mechanical body actions like bending, straightening or rotating would qualify as pure movement providing the context was neutral.’

Trisha Brown’s statement brought together three New York choreographers and two New York philosophers for an evening that blended performative and speculative gestures that somehow felt both ordinary and alien to our contemporary sensibilities.

Combining a short film, a dance solo with a sound work, a theoretical lecture, an improvised duet, and an open conversation, the evening was also a direct response to this true story:

Someone once had the audacity to tell Martin Heidegger that he has to treat philosophy much more freely, more lightly, that one must dance with philosophy. At first, Heidegger didn’t say a thing. He only withdrew into himself and then murmured: ‘I really don’t know what philosophy has to do with dancing.

Daniel Colucciello Barber is the author of On Diaspora: Christianity, Religion, and Secularity (2011), and Deleuze and the Naming of God: Postsecularism and the Future of Immanence (forthcoming). As an ICI fellow he is working on a new book about instability and the logic of conversion.

Zeynep Bulut is a researcher in the field of sound studies and experimental music and a fellow at the ICI. She has also composed and performed voice and sound pieces for concert, video, and theatre, which have been presented in the United States, Europe, and Turkey.

Edivaldo Ernesto was born in Maputo in Mozambique, where he studied traditional dance. He has performed for Ussoforal, Escultutas Humanas, and David Zambrano. Since 2008 he is a permanent ensemble member of Sasha Waltz & Guests.

David Kishik is the author of Wittgenstein’s Form of Life (2008) and The Power of Life: Agamben and the Coming Politics (2012). He is also an ICI Fellow, and the translator of Agamben’s Nudities and What Is an Apparatus? He also sees dead people, particularly Walter Benjamin.

Judith Sánchez Ruíz is a Cuban-born choreographer and dancer. She has performed for Trisha Brown, Deborah Hay, DD Dorvillier, and Sasha Waltz. Her work has been presented by Danspace Project, the Whitney Museum, the Guggenheim Museum, Storm King Arts Center, and the Danish School of Theater and Contemporary Dance. Her work has been supported by the Rockefeller Fund, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, the Baryshnikov Arts Center, and Movement Research.

Netta Yerushalmy is a choreographer whose work has been supported by the Guggenheim Foundation, New York Foundation for the Arts, the Jerome Robbins Foundation, Six Points, and the Baryshnikov Arts Center. Her work has been presented by La Mama, Danspace Project, the Kitchen, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Brooklyn Museum, and Curtain-Up Festival in Tel Aviv.  She has performed for Doug Varone, Mark Jarecke, and the Metropolitan Opera Ballet.


ICI Berlin
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Daniel Colucciello Barber
Zeynep Bulut
Edivaldo Ernesto
David Kishik
Judith Sánchez Ruíz
Netta Yerushalmy

Organized by

ICI Berlin

In English

First published on:
Rights: © ICI Berlin
Cite as: Critique of Pure Movement, performance, ICI Berlin, 13 May 2013 <>