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Alexander Schwan

Alexander Schwan

Alexander Schwan

E-Mail: schwan [at] schriftbildlichkeit.de


Ph.D. Project

"Room-Writing. Graphism in postmodern and contemporary Choreography: Trisha Brown, Jan Fabre, William Forsythe and Lin-Hwai Min."



The study deals with the phenomenon of graphism in postmodern and contemporary dance, the distinctive tendency to deliberately organize choreography as an ephemeral room-writing. How can the structural analogy of dance and writing, which differently characterizes all choreographies, become an object of reflection and visualization in dance itself? Which formal decisions are optional and essential for choreographies in order to discuss self-reflectively the graphic iconicity of their movements in the performance?

These questions are applied to prominent conceptions of graphistic dance, in the work of Trisha Brown, Jan Fabre, William Forsythe and Lin Hwai-Min. Methodically, new differentiations of the writing-discourse in literary criticism and cultural studies are transferred to the writing´s analogon, the dance. Thus, refinement and revision in the concept of writing in views of its materiality and iconicity will also adjust the reception of dance as an ephemeral inscription.

The thesis intends to develop poetics of dance as „écriture corporelle“, fanning out the optional interpretations of dance as process and product of writing. Taking the focus on its scriptural iconicity, as opaque as ornamental, dance will be read as ephemeral corporal-calligraphy and preposterous spatial graffiti.



Curriculum Vitae



Ordained Presbyterian Reverend, Protestant Church in Rhineland


Diploma in Theatre Directing,
Academy of Music and Performing Arts, Frankfurt/Main


First and Second Theological Exams, Protestant Church in Rhineland



since 06/2009

Associate member of the DFG Research Training Group „Notational Iconicity“, Freie Universität Berlin

seit 2007

Reverend of the Protestant Church in Rhineland


Curate in Sophienkirche, Berlin,
Seminar für pastorale Aus- und Fortbildung, Wuppertal

seit 2005

Ph.D. Project „Room-Writing. Graphism in postmodern and contemporary Choreography“,
Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Gabriele Brandstetter, Freie Universität


Studies of Theatre Directing,
Academy of Music and Performing Arts, Frankfurt/Main


Masterclass Schauspiel, Salzburger Festspiele


Jewish Studies, Hebrew University Jerusalem
Fellowship-Program “Studium in Israel”


Studies of Protestant Theology and Philosophy
Freie Universität Berlin,
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin,
Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg


Artistic Work


Stadttheater Gießen; Academy of Music and Performing Arts, Frankfurt/Main


Aischylos, „Gefesselter Prometheus“


Heiner Müller, „Quartett“


Heinrich von Kleist, „Penthesilea“


Choralgraphisches Theater Heidelberg/Berlin






Publications (selected)


„Expression, Ekstase, Spiritualität. Paul Tillichs Theologie der Kunst und Mary Wigmans Absoluter Tanz“, in: Tanz, Bewegung & Spiritualität, Jahrbuch Tanzforschung Bd. 19, hg. von Dagmar Ellen Fischer und Thom Hecht, Leipzig 2009, S. 214-226.


„Kenosis in der Dokusoap. Das Geheimnis im Zeitalter der medialen Aufmerksamkeit“, in: Zeitschrift für Gottesdienst und Predigt, 1/2007, S. 19-21.

since 2005

Numerous publications in the fields of homiletics and spirituality

Co-Author for “Predigtstudien im Christlich-Jüdischen Kontext“



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