female dancing

Table of contents

Rachel Krische


Journal Articles (D), Conference contributions (E), Performances (I), Website content (H)

Archive, Dance, Movement

Dance, Performance, Body


Table of Contents is a live movement installation co-created by six artists using their own history as a choreographer/performer to question how dance is archived. The body as a portable repository of choreographic information, a human hard-drive of non-verbal documents to be accessed in real time, is proposed and interrogated. Resembling the form of a movement laboratory, a series of evolving choreographic works take place within a shared gallery space that allows the audience to intermingle with the performers. Embedded within the work are moments where dialogue between performers and audience happen. This conversation further encourages the audience to connect, intellectually as well as kinaesthetically, the performer’s historical and bodily archive, with their own.

Krische’s work within this project, produced solo investigations researching alternative ways to address notions of thinking about embodied cognition through movement emerging from deeply embedded archival information. Using multiple pairs of headphones and recorded spoken texts, Krische used improvisatory movement activity in performance to propose that it is functioning as listening and thinking ‘equipment’ rather than the normative assumptions of dance predominantly ‘illustrating’ ideas physically. Krische’s approach and insights have disciplinary relevance in contributing to the growing discourse on embodied cognition from the position of dance performance practice.

Performances include: ICA (London, UK); Tramway (Glasgow, UK); Arnolfini (Bristol, UK); Kunstbau – Lenbachhaus (Munich, Germany); Old Selfridges Hotel, ICA/Frieze Art Fair (London, UK); Siobhan Davies Studios (London, UK); Leopold Museum (Vienna, Austria). The 6-hour performance duration and extended UK/European residencies have allowed the work to be viewed by 7,000 people and has been widely reviewed in the international press. Krische has published a journal article (Krische, 2016), joined panel conversations with neurophysiologist Jonanthan Cole and co-performer Matthias Sperling (2014) and Prof Sarah Whatley (2014) and presented related papers at NUI Galway, 2015, Leeds Beckett, 2015 and Coventry University, 2016. The work is also cited by Prof Whatley in the Journal of Choreographic Practices (Whatley, 2014).

Table of Contents presents a way to rethink the notion of the dance archive —asking where, indeed, a dance archive is located, if not in the body itself.

Laura Mclean-Ferris Art Review

This ‘memory space’ stimulates thought about how we access feelings, sensations and memories that reside in the body and resurface through the body in different ways. At the same time this moving archive comprises more than a century of experience when the dancers’ years of dancing are added together. It is full with the unexpected, unintended, surprising and unforeseen that characterizes any preternatural performance event and seems to provide a tangible sense of the thinking and activity that coexists in a dance work and that escapes the series of films, images and words that comprises the determined ‘boxed in’ objects of an archive. It is the affective nature of performance practice, and its valuing of indeterminacy, that produces what I want to term a ‘landscape of vitality’.

Whatley, S. (2014), ‘Digital inscriptions and the dancing body: Expanding territories through and with the archive’, Choreographic Practices, 5:1, pp. 121–38.

Funding credits

Table of Contents is produced in partnership with Siobhan Davies Dance, the ICA (London), Tramway (Glasgow) and Arnolfini (Bristol) and supported by Arts Council England.