Filming Dance: Embodied Syntax in Sasha Waltz' S

Paragraph 38 (1):69-85 (2015)
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This paper brings Merleau-Ponty’s phenomenological approach to Sasha Waltz’s dance film S, which focuses on the relation between sexuality and language. Maintaining that movement in cinema takes place in the viewers and not the film, the paper considers how the visual can be deepened to include the ways we move and are moved. Saussure’s insights into language are brought to the sensible, which is here understood in terms of divergences from norms. Though film would seem to privilege vision, viewing this film helps to elucidate Merleau-Ponty’s claim that a film succeeds when it engages the viewer’s embodied understanding, and shifts the norms of the corporeal schema.

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Helen A. Fielding
University of Western Ontario


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