Header Image The Body as Archive

Michael Maurissens
The Body as Archive

The dancer and choreographer and filmmaker Michael Maurissens’ documentary film project The Body as Archive, which focuses mainly on the dancer’s role as an agent of choreographic knowledge, was sparked by the dissolution of The Forsythe Company in 2014 and the related questions of who or what will be carrying on William Forsythe’s heritage in the future.

The film looks at the constellation of the terms ‘body and ‘archive’ within the context of contemporary dance: What’s the difference between a dancer’s body and a non-dancer’s body? Is it possible to locate kinetic knowledge? How are social and cultural contexts reflected in dancers’ bodies? What are dancers researching in their dance practice? Where is the (physical) knowledge they generate located? To what extent can this knowledge be made accessible and how can it be conveyed?

Maurissens was working with the visual artist and filmmaker Darko Dragičević on the research and film work for the project, which also involved experts from the fields of brain research, anthropology and dance.

In order to find answers to his core question “Can a body be an archive?” Maurissens was also conducting interviews with dancers (e.g. with the former Forsythe Dancer Jone San Martin) and supplementing these with insights into rehearsal processes as well as studio recordings.

More information is available on the project homepage


Directed by  – Michael Maurissens
Written by – Michael Maurissens, Darko Dragičević
First Assistant Director –  Darko Dragičević
Director of Photography/Editor –  Alexander Basile
Music composed by – Gregor Schwellenbach
Produced by – CARRÉ BLANC Productions

Performance Dates





  • 11 July 2019 | ‚Haba na Haba‘ Festival Dar Es Salaam/ Goethe Institut Tanzania
  • 29 August 2019 | Akademie der Künste, Berlin – in the framework of the series of events „Was der Körper erinnert. Zur Aktuailtät des Tanzeserbes





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