Date of Award
Art destabilizes the human, rupturing the concept of the individual as primary universal organizer. The artist recognizes infinite potential in the virtual as expressed through intensity, something semantically inarticulable but nonetheless accessible via artistic production. Chrystal Pite, contemporary dance choreographer, is one such artist in whose creations the workings of affect make themselves perceptibly clear. We may turn to poststructuralist philosopher Gilles Deleuze and his theories of multiplicity, repetition, and nomadism in order to further understand the work that she has put forth. Pite, through art and affect, reminds us of the human condition of the de-centered individual, and Deleuze’s theories assist in further understanding this message that her works convey—a necessary translative tool in consideration of our inability to comprehend affect through typical linguistic structures. In this thesis I will provide a novel analysis of Crystal Pite’s choreography using the philosophy of Gilles Deleuze to expose her unique critical artistry and reveal how her creative process also allows us to better understand Deleuze’s philosophy. Pite’s choreography reflects the multiplicitous communicative and affective propensity expounded by Deleuzian critical theory; her choreographic work is almost a physical manifestation of those very concepts. It is critical that we continue to create connections across diverse disciplines and explore potential modes of thought; we are, as Deleuze writes in A Thousand Plateaus (1980), perpetually in a state of becoming as we conceive the world within and around us (42). This thesis aims to fuse the works of a choreographer and a philosopher into a unique assemblage of critical becoming, unveiling further modes by which one may understand the nature of the de-centered individual and the production of the overarching relationship between art and philosophy.
Laubacher, Kyra, "Becoming-Pite: An Application of Deleuzian Theory to Chrystal Pite’s Choreography" (2020). Undergraduate Honors Thesis Collection. 537.