“Folding the Flesh into Thought”

Hickey Moody, Anna. 2006. “Folding the Flesh into Thought”. Angelaki: Journal of the Theoretical Humanities, 11(1), pp. 189-197. ISSN 0969-725X [Article]

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In this article I explore an interface between integrated dance theatre practice, creative philosophy and select medical and sociological discourses. I do so in order to reconsider the politics of thinking about intellectual disability. I employ the phrase “integrated dance theatre” to discuss dance theatre devised and performed by people who identify as being with and without intellectual disability. In contexts other than this article, the term “integrated dance theatre” is also used to discuss dance theatre performed by people who identify (more broadly) as being with and without disabilities. I take up and contextually translate modes of thought that are implicit in integrated dance theatre practice, in order to call for a concept of corporeality that encounters, and extends beyond, contemporary ways of imagining the intellectually disabled body. Deploying aspects of Deleuze's work on Spinoza (1988, 1990b) and sensation (2003, 1990a) and his collaborative scholarship with Guattari (1987, 1994), I argue that integrated dance theatre performance texts possess a capacity to reframe the ways in which bodies with intellectual disability can be thought. By inviting audiences to question modes of thinking about intellectual disability, such dance theatre constitutes a praxis in which the intellectually disabled body is understood in terms other than those that presuppose a Cartesian mind–body dualism. I mobilize the work of Adelaide-based Restless Dance Company1 as both a site of inquiry and a source of knowledge production. Building relationships between the affective surfaces of Restless Dance performance texts and Deleuze's philosophy, I fold some specificities of embodied differences into thought. I look to create what Deleuze articulates as a Spinozist, joyful or useful union “which so disposes the body that it can be affected [and act] in a greater number of ways” (Deleuze 1988, 71).

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Educational Studies



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21 Jul 2015 09:35

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21 Jul 2015 09:35

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Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.



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