Tracking entities: Choreography as a cartographic process | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 2, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 2040-5669
  • E-ISSN: 2040-5677


'Tracking entities' is a cartographic essay that takes the idea of topographic exchange between place and body, exploring the relationship between sense, perception and corporeal memory. Underlying an enquiry into developing movement vocabulary in response to a particular terrain, the terms 'proprioception', 'perception' and 'perspective' are examined here in relation to the site-based performance activities of ROCKface, directed by dancer/choreographers Rachel Sweeney and Marnie Orr. Using anatomy maps, poetic writings, cartographic documents and somatic descriptions, this visual essay serves to distinguish ROCKface's choreographic approach in developing a physical approach to land driven by the interaction between dancer and environment where the focus remains on an application of physical and perceptual consciousness within site-based movement practice. The role of sense perception in site-based performance practice is located here through a modern-day palimpsest where initial dance movements acquired in the immediate vicinity of working on site might subsequently be recreated through their inscription, or refinement, to be developed towards distinct choreographic materials. Central to an enquiry into sense perception in contemporary performance practice is the ability of the dancer working in outdoor rural environments to interrelate different senses – in particular, the relation between visual and touch sensation – through a process of physical synaesthesia. Brian Massumi’s term the ‘visceral gaze’ will be adopted to describe the deliberate anatomical re-mapping of proprioceptive faculties regarding kinaesthetic vision in seeking to distinguish a topography of the eye that proposes an inversion of phenomenological processes operating between the seen and the felt within movement processes.


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  • Article Type: Article
Keyword(s): cartography; dance; ecology; movement; ROCKface; site-based performance
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