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Sunday March 17 | Session 10:45 - 12:15 (20 min)
De Brakke Grond | Rode Zaal
Ch’i is one of the most obscure concepts in the ancient Chinese thinking. It has numerous meanings of “air,” “breath,” “force of life,” etc. As ch’i is important to the Chinese practice of t’ai-chi that has been used by some contemporary choreographers to develop the body techniques for their dance, the researcher’s writings of ch’i in the contemporary dance are worth more consideration. As the specific interpretation of the meaning of ch’i is often missed in the writings, they bring up some questions: is ch’i only indicated as the signified by a signifier as if ch’i is the one and same thing that can be grasped with a dancer’s body? Isn’t it a fall into the Western logocentrism?

While Jacques Derrida “disturbed” the logocentrism with the force of arche-writing, he criticized that the comprehension of Chinese writing as the “manifestation of idea” also falls into the logocentrism. Nonetheless, I interpret “writing” in the ancient Chinese thinking as the “manifestation of force” that also performs. It is not only reflected in the Chinese character, which can perform as a verb, a noun, or an adverb, but also in the signs of ch’i in the ancient treatise, Change (I-ching), that perform as an “operator” in the prophetic practice. As ch’i –– as that which brings forth the changes in the universe –– also performs, I propose to think of a “writing” that performs as an “operator” for a more specific analysis of ch’i in the contemporary dance and as an “intervenor” to the logocentrism.

Hsieh, Chieh-ting holds a master degree in musicology at National Taiwan University. In 2018, he finished his doctoral research in dance studies at Freie University Berlin. His recent research interests include the dynamics of music and dance, the body’s sense of rhythm particularly with regard to the Chinese traditions of arts, and the notation of music and dance as the culture-technique. 
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