Witches’ dances

Witches’ dances

Political Rhythmics of Space and Physical Counter-Techniques

The 2024 “No distance” educational programme is part of the project „Life Long Burning – Future Lost and Found (LLB 3) and it is realized with the financial support of the “Creative Europe” Programme of the European Union and the National Culture Fund under the programme “Targeted Support “Creative Europe” in partnership with Goethe-Institut Bulgaria.

The dances of the witches – an ecstatic and transgressive whirl under the full moon, has been explored in contemporary cultural anthropology and feminist theory as a phantasmal image-projection of mechanisms of cultural, social and gender exclusion, of forms of segregation and repression of difference. These interpretations are undoubtedly legitimate and necessary. In my lecture, I will in turn focus on a hitherto unexplored aspect of the witches’ dance. I will think of it as a sombre but shimmering as a summer full moon expression of the resistance of dance – of dance as a space of invention and experimentation with physical counter-techniques, affirming a subversive and inflammatory rhythmic, endangering constituted political space. With this proposal, I will try to give a new impetus to my theory of the “resistance of dance” developed two decades ago. 

The lecture will be based on anthropological and cultural historical material as well as on fascinating examples from modern and contemporary dance. 

Boyan Manchev is a philosopher and writer, Professor at New Bulgarian University and Visiting Professor at Berlin University of the Arts and Hollins University. Manchev is the author of twenty books, among which World and Freedom (2023), What is Ontology? (co-authored with Dimitar Vatsov, 2023), The End of Contemporary Art?, or The Future of Art (2023), and The Body–Metamorphosis (2007). He has also contributed as author, theorist, dramaturge, actor or curator to visual arts, theatre, cinema and contemporary dance projects. Together with Ani Vaseva and Leonid Yovchev, he is a founding member of the artistic collective Metheor. 

Lecture with Boyan Manchev