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Session 2: ‘Gesture as Excess’


Dr Meindert Peters (Post-Doctoral Research Fellow in German, University of Oxford) ‘Gestures in León & Lightfoot’s Dance Adaptation of Gertrude Stein’s “If I Told Him…”’

Shutters Shut (2003) is a 4-minute dance piece set to Gertrude Stein reading her poem “If I Told Him, a Completed Portrait of Picasso.” Choreographed by Sol Léon and Paul Lightfoot, the two dancers of the piece use gesture to give bodily shapes – sharp, speedy, fractured – to the sounds, rhythm, and repetition of Stein’s work. The piece opens up important avenues for thinking about the relationship between movement and language, dance and poetry, gesture and speech. My talk will explore how the dance piece complicates the gestural imagination of Stein’s poetry and language more generally.

Dr Nina Danino (Artist and Filmmaker, Reader in Fine Art at Goldsmiths, University of London) Gesture in Film: Ghosts of Love (2021)

Gesture is everywhere, and gesture in film is everywhere, so it must be in my work in film. I am going to take a deep dive across my body of work where gesture expresses excess as part of the meaning of the work at that point.
I look at where it might exist in my work where previously I hadn’t seen that it is there, that it can be called gesture, particularly as a signifier for excess. I have made a video of these moments and will read a text as part of the presentation. At the end I will show G
hosts of Love, one of a series of dance performances to camera made in 2021, in which I very much think about gesture.

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