The Gesture of Interweaving: A Look at the Landscape of Contemporary Dance in Brazil

Cristina F. Rosa

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


In this article, I turn to the recent work of Bruno Beltrão and Lia Rodrigues in order to outline some of the innovative ways through which contemporary choreographers from Brazil have selected, embodied, and manipulated a wide range of aesthetic conventions and have rearranged them into innovative, often open-ended, choreographic discourses, processes, or experiments. As I will argue, their dance projects cannot be easily reduced to, or framed as, dualistic interactions of Western and non-Western aesthetics, commonly expected of “intercultural” performances. In order to demonstrate how their artistic projects exceed such expectations, my analysis in anchored by German scholar Erika Fischer-Lichte’s deployment of the concept of “interweaving.” Additionally, I make use of the Czech-born phenomenologist Vilém Flusser’s theoretical work on gestures and other contributions from the field of critical dance studies in order to draw attention to the ways in which the bodies of these choreographers and their collaborating dancers, i.e. their corporealities, are implicated at different phases of said processes of interweaving performance cultures in concert dance in Brazil. As this article seeks to illustrate, my scholarship is concerned with the relationship between that which is interwoven in a given performance and the aesthetic knowledges ingrained in the muscle memory of the artists engaged in the process of creating and executing its underlying choreography. For practical reasons, I will thereafter refer to this creative process as the gesture of interweaving.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Movements of Interweaving
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Contemporary dance
  • Interweaving
  • theory of gestures
  • Grupo de Rua
  • Lia Rodrigues
  • Brazil

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