Eylül Fidan Akıncı (New York/Arnhem): „Choreo-dramaturging the Anthropocene“

Vortrag vom 12.12.2023

The new climatic regime is manifest in our lives with an unprecedented urgency, but the planetary damage has been ongoing for much longer. Likewise, ecological activism and discourse have a global history, while we are groping for resistance and solace within a politically and digitally induced amnesia, obfuscation, and denialism. These are only the starting conundrums of what I consider to be characteristically the Anthropocene episteme. By positing the Anthropocene as a crisis of sense and sensibility, this lecture will argue how performing arts has a unique advantage to figure, rupture and radically transform this widespread yet unevenly distributed doom scenario.

I will outline the intricate web of choreographic and dramaturgical frames for articulating and activating ecocritical communities and courses of action. Drawing on works of Pina Bausch, Eiko Otake, and Mette Ingvartsen among others, I will demonstrate how the choreographic experiments within the past half-century have allowed us to recognize and negotiate with nonhumans in their autonomy and agency, in their meaningful mattering. Inextricably, the dramaturgies of these works have opened a counterfactual space, where ambiguous and interdependent relations can be discussed, violence readmitted, and the audience implicated beyond gesture or codified participation. Through assemblages of immersion and alienation, the spectators are corporeally primed for cognition, representation, and debate. Through this overview, I question what the Anthropocene forces contemporary performance to do: Double-bound in fires, deluges, and plagues of tragic proportions, how do our stages address multiplicities in which nonhumans are equally sensuous, autonomous, mobile subjects of history?

Eylül Fidan Akıncı is a performance researcher and the house dramaturg of Theater a/d Rijn. She received her Ph.D. in Theatre and Performance at The Graduate Center, City University of New York. Her writing has appeared in TDR: The Drama ReviewPerformance Research, and Etcetera Mag, as well as in the edited collections Performance in a Militarized Culture (2017) and The Methuen Drama Companion to Performance Art (2020). In addition to her seminar “Articulating Ecodramaturgies” at Goethe University, Akıncı has taught at Hunter College, Baruch College, Royal Conservatoire Antwerp, Fontys Dance Academy Tilburg, and Amsterdam University of Arts. She pursues her ecocritical performance practice through collaborations with Taldans and Wunderbaum.