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Opening Up Endings: Action Performance Practice

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Charlotte Veal



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND).


Endings take multiple forms yet remain under theorised within geography. Informed by Hannah Arendt’s assertion that action has no end, this paper argues for the resonances and elaborations of endings, providing evidence from dance choreography. As an art form, dance has been variously conceived as ephemeral but also transient, thus neither capable of being lost nor destroyed. I explore these ideas through Renail Basail’s re/staging of the choreography Out of the Box, and it’s unexpected ending in March 2020. I ask, what might dance choreography tell scholars of geography and the geohumanities about how to work with such a sense of endings as contingent and open? This paper contributes to this gap in thinking and theorising by outlining four propositions on endings drawn from dance theory and practice. These are: endings and ephemerality, endings as conditional, endings and liveness, and endings as radical. Where endings are open and congruent, two key implications emerge. First, there is need to situate endings within bodies, articulating how they are practiced and performed, whilst always subject to external forces not fully known. Second, if action has no end, there is political possibilities to creative endings.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Veal C

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: GeoHumanities

Year: 2023

Volume: 9

Issue: 1

Pages: 191-210

Online publication date: 09/11/2022

Acceptance date: 15/08/2022

Date deposited: 04/10/2022

ISSN (print): 2373-566X

ISSN (electronic): 2373-5678

Publisher: Taylor and Francis


DOI: 10.1080/2373566X.2022.2132976


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Funder referenceFunder name
Newcastle University Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences Fund