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Theoretical Explorations Module VIII
What does repetition mean? In everyday life, we tend to think of repetition as an endless, insistent monotony and sameness, the background against which we foreground creativity: the new idea, the work of art, falling in love and other life ‘events’.
This course entangles philosophical investigation of repetition with how the concept is thought in music and dance, pushing us to think about practices of repetition in unusual ways. We’ll consider writings of Kierkegaard, Deleuze, Kafka, Freud, Adorno, and others in conversation with the compositional strategies of Bach, Steven Reich, James Brown, Stockhausen, and the choreographic positions of Lucinda Childs, Chandralekha, Thomas Lehman, also amongst others.
Our goal is not to chase analogies - ‘that score sounds like what Adorno says about repetition!’ - but to treat each form - philosophy, sound, dance - as necessitating a deeper view into the other’s and back. We’ll also consider how repetition has shifted over time, compelling us to spiral repeatedly around this question, ‘what is repetition’?