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ABOUT DANCE 2022, Episode 3, Practices of Queering Representation – focus on Cristina Rizzo

May 21st 2022 , 10:30 May 22nd 2022 , 19:30

“I didn’t take notes during the forum, I just wrote down any words that caught my attention, that I liked …. Capacity, Betrayal, Fear & Desire, Metabolism, Sublime…”

~ Participant reflecting on their forum notebook

“The only country I have is my body”

~ Keith Hennessy quoting a friend during his talk

TALKS: Practices of Queering Representation

Henrike Kohpeiß: In this talk titled “Identity Produced by Negation”, Henrike addresses the concept of freedom as conceived by Theodor Adorno and Saidiya Hartman. Through critical theory, feminism, black studies and affect theory, Henrike approaches freedom beyond the view of personal identity, leading us into what she calls the gap of non-identity.

Jordy Rosenberg: Jordy’s talk is an inquiry into metabolism and trans/queer subjectivity. He starts with Marx’s use of the word stoffwechsel, moves through medicine and bodily autonomy, and ends with reading from the poem “Feeld” by Jos Charles.

Melanie Sehgal: This talk rethinks aesthetics in the face of the climate crisis, challenging the categorization of nature — and by extension the arts — as objects of pleasant diversion for humans. Melanie pushes us to consider aesthetics as that which prioritizes feelings for things in and of the world, with purpose and value beyond human spectatorship.

Keith Hennessy: “…thoughts, thoughts, thoughts…” repeats Keith during his talk … and Keith’s thoughts are indeed worth hearing. Keith traverses intellectual landscapes both poetic and practical as he discusses art, queerness, money, activism, and some of the generational thinking that defines the new and old order of queer artistic sorcery.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: Practices of Queering Representation


Adorno, Theodor. 1966. Negative Dialectics

Hartman, Saidiya. 2020. Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments: Intimate Histories of Riotous Black Girls, Troublesome Women, and Queer Radicals.

Muñoz, José Esteban. 2009. Cruising Utopia: The Then and There of Queer Futurity

Peters, Torrey. 2021. Detranstition, Baby(Novel).

Shaviro, Steven. 2009. Without Criteria.

Snorton, C. RIiey. 2017. Black on Both Sides: A Racial History of Trans Identity.


Charles, Jos: trans poet, writer, translator, and intertextual artist.

Gill-Peterson, Jules: transgender history, politics and culture.

Whitehead, Alfred North: mathematician and philosopher.


Cristina Kristal Rizzo is a dance maker and artist based in Florence. Along with her artistic production she has developed an intense activity of conferences, workshops, theoretical writings and mentoring at some of the best European masters for choreography. Her interests concern choreography in an expanded field, something that she has approached through experimental practices and creative process in multiplicity of formats and expressions. She has been active on stage as performer and creator since ’94. Cofounder of the collective Kinkaleri with which she shared the creation and planning of all the production since 2007, touring the international contemporary dance scene and receiving several awards. Since 2008 she undertook an autonomous career of production and experimental choreography, converging her body research towards a theoretical reflection with a strong dynamic impact and becoming one of the principal personalities of the Italian choreographic scene. Some of her latest creations: TOCCARE the white dance (Danza&Danza best contemporary choreography 2020), ULTRAS sleeping dances, VN Serenade, Prélude, ikea, BoleroEffect. She has created as guest choreographer for AterBalletto, Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Balletto di Toscana, LAC Lugano and for Museum Institutions such as MACRO and PalaExpo Rome, MUSEION Bolzano, Museo del 900 Firenze, Museo Pecci Parato. She also developed the special project BALINESE DANCE PLATFORM for Santarcangelo Festival 14 and 15 and Live Arts Week 21 in collaboration with Xing. From 2019 she’s an active part in the Sup de Sub Campus project in the suburbs of Marseille and Paris based on artistic transmission to very young non-professionals. Her work is supported by TIR Danza and MiBAC (Ministero dei beni e delle attività culturali e del turismo italiano).

Henrike Kohpeiß is a PhD candidate in philosophy and a research assistant at the collaborative research center “Affective Societies” at Free University, Berlin. Her dissertation unfolds an affective analysis of the bourgeois subject and engages in an encounter between Frankfurt School critical theory and Black studies. She has been teaching on among other things Sylvia Wynter, philosophy and the Shoah, and bourgeois society and its critique. Occasionally, she engages in artistic collaborations in dance and performance, mostly as a dramaturg or writer, sometimes as a performer.

 Jordy Rosenberg is a transgender writer and scholar. He is an associate professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst where he teaches eighteenth-century literature and queer/trans theory. He has received fellowships and awards from the Marion and Jasper Whiting Foundation the Ahmanson Foundation/J. Paul Getty Trust the UCLA Center for 17th- and 18th-Century Studies the Society for the Humanities at Cornell University and the Clarion Foundation’s Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers’ Workshop. He is the author of a scholarly monograph Critical Enthusiasm: Capital Accumulation and the Transformation of Religious Passion. He lives in New York City and Northampton Massachusetts. Confessions of the Fox is his first novel. 

Melanie Sehgal is Professor of Literature, Science and Media Studies at Viadrina European University, Frankfurt (Oder). Holding a PhD in Philosophy from the Technical University of Darmstadt, she is the author of Eine situierte Metaphysik. Empirismus und Spekulation bei William James und Alfred North Whitehead (Konstanz University Press, 2016). Her work focuses on forms of speculative thinking beyond the nature/culture divide, with particular interest in classical pragmatism, process philosophy, science, and technology studies, as well as new materialist feminist thought. Since 2012 she has been hosting the workshop and lecture series “Experimental Speculations/Speculative Experimentations” in Frankfurt/Oder and Berlin with guests such as Xavier Le Roy, Isabelle Stengers, and Vicki Kirby. Together with the artist Alex Martinis Roe, she is leading the experimental working group “FORMATIONS” at the HKW, which is exploring ways of knowing beyond modern disciplinary habits of thought. She is also a member of the Interdisciplinary Network for the Critical Humanities Terra Critica, which is reexamining critical theory and critique under the conditions of the twenty-first century. Her current research explores speculative histories and futures of aesthetics beyond modern bifurcations.

Keith Hennessy was born in a mining town in Northern Ontario, Canada, lives in San Francisco, and works regularly in Europe. He is a performer, choreographer, teacher, and organizer. Hennessy directs Circo Zero Performance, a laboratory for live performance that defies genre and expectation. Rooted in dance, Hennessy’s work embodies a unique hybrid of performance art, music, visual and conceptual art, circus, and ritual. He is the instigator of the Turbulence (a dance about the economy) project. Hennessy’s performances are embedded in leftist and anarchist social movements; his career began in anti-nuclear juggling, acrobatics, and vaudevillian comedy.

Episode 3 Trailer

Dance has always had a complex relation to representation. The conceptual canon of the 90s, coinciding with the rise of identity politics and the performative regime insisted that dance always and only is a matter of representation, whereas a tradition from Anna Halprin, over authentic movement and lately somatic practices appear to vouch for dynamics of the body that exists and can be practised beyond, or at least on the outskirts of representation and conventional forms of signification. 

The third episode of About Dance is dedicated to investigations in regard to how those different and sometimes contradictory registers can be superimposed, separated, collapsed and surfed, concerning identity, identification, dance and bodies. Can processes that undermine established forms of representation at the same time issue the importance of solidifying identities, and if so what is its politics? Can identity politics do anything else than repeat already conventionalised forms of understanding of what identity and being human can be? Does dance offer a landscape to generate different kinds of registers in regard to representation?  

These are questions that will be addressed in two practice sessions guided by the Italian choreographer Cristina Rizzo, whose work since many years has travelled from dance as noun to the verb form of dancing, forms of doing that open toward multiple unknowns. A series of talks will from different perspectives discuss identity, notions of queer and trans as well as politics of bodies in contemporary capitalism. Online contributions are by Keith Hennessy, Jordy Rosenberg, Melanie Sehgal and Henrike Kohpeiß


10:30-12:30 daily: Live workshops with Cristina Rizzo

15:30-19:30 daily: Online guest artists and contributors: Elle Barbara, Keith Hennessy, Henrike Kopheiß, Jordy Rosenberg

Curated by Mårten Spångberg

Hosted by Armin Hokmi & Mårten Spångberg

Assistance & Documentation: Jessy Tuddenham & Maria Kousi

Camera & Editing: Noam Gorbat

Artistic Direction: Marcela Giesche

documentation archive