The Body as archive

The Body as Archive is a documentary film based on research that considers ways in which the dancer’s body can be regarded as archive. A few hypotheses are intended as a frame of its research; is the body of a dancer only a repository of forms of usage? 
Dancers create, accumulate and carry knowledge - where is it stored and what do they explore through their practice? Is it possible to locate kinetic knowledge and understand its connection between subjective vision and objective realisation? How do cultural and social contexts reflect in the body of a dancer? 

The Body as Archive explores the role of dancer in the preservation of collective knowledge, it’s transmission and it’s accessibility.

With the participation of Prof. Dr. Maaike Bleeker I Allison Brown I Prof. Patrick Haggard I Fabrice Mazliah, Jone San Martin I Michael Schumacher I Prof. Dr. Gerald Siegmund I Prof. Wolf Singer I Dr. Ing. Michael Steinbusch I Thomas Thorausch and Ildikó Tóth I students of Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst, Frankfurt am Main I Institute for Cognitive Neuroscience, UCL and Institute of Philosophy, School of Advanced Study, University of London I Institute for Applied Theatre Studies/Justus- Liebig-Universität Gießen I P.A.R.T.S. Brussels

  • Michael Maurissens
  • Michael maurissens & Darko Dragicevic
  • Jone San Martin
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    48 minutes 58 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    October 24, 2016
  • Production Budget:
    60,000 EUR
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
    Belgium, Netherlands, United Kingdom
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Tanzarchiv
    October 24, 2016
    November 30, 2016
    March 11, 2017
  • Goethe Institut
    March 24, 2017
Director Biography - Michael Maurissens

Michael Maurissens was born in Brussels, where he also began his dance training. He later studied at the Heinz-Bosl-Stiftung in Munich and the Professional Ballet school in Zurich. He has since danced with Ballet Nürnberg/Tanzwerk Nürnberg, Amanda Miller’s Ballett Freiburg Pretty Ugly, Mannheimer Ballett and pretty ugly tanz köln.

M. Maurissens graduated from the Academy of Media Arts Cologne in summer 2013, his studies focused on scenography, applied visual arts and documentary filmmaking. He now, directs and produces films, experimental video works, performance documentations and involves himself in collaborative visual art projects.

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Director Statement

As a (dance) artist and in the context of the digital revolution, I am constantly confronted with the challenges of documenting art works and performances.
New media offer a considerable tool to capture, document and disseminate artistic creations. But what about all that cannot be collected? What about the emotional experienced by both the performer and the spectator? What about the dimensionality of a work?
In that perspective, I intend to explore the role of the human body at creating, accumulating, storing and transmitting these non perdurable information.

The initial motivation was triggered by the recent closure of the Forsythe Company, the ending raised two questions: What will happen to the immense work created in the frame of the company? Who/what carries that heritage?
Taking this event and these questions as a springboard, the project investigates the role of dancer in the preservation of collective knowledge.

The film aims at exploring these topics by creating a dialogue between experts from various fields, such as art, science, cultural theory, architecture …

How to archive dance? Why to archive dance?