Mimesis, Mediation, Multiplicity
Dancers have bodies that, even in their singularity, always incorporate multiplicity. Dance is also a practice that holds multiple bodies together at once, in mimetic gesture. Screen-based media has contributed to this phenomenon. I will speak about the link between multiplicity, mimesis, mediation and dance by looking at a variety of examples. Case studies include the role of (often uncredited) dancers in early rotoscoped cartoons and mo-cap CGI films to produce dancing animated characters; live dance performances by Freya Bjorg Olafson and Marie Claire Forté in collaboration with Alanna Kraaijeveld; and the phenomenon of viral TikTok dances. Out of these examples emerge crucial discussions about identity, appropriation (such as digital blackface), visibility, erasure, technique, and the role of capitalism in perpetuating dance as a spectacle that both asserts and overrides multiplicity.