The essay presents an analysis of the main theories that have prompted dance scholars to reconsider the nature and uses of the archive, as well as the possible ways of archiving and transmitting a dance heritage. The documentary value recently attributed to movement practices and dance techniques, and the relevance of corporeal archives and incorporation processes are also the outcome of a critical reassessment of the workings of memory in its relationship with history. The theoretical model offered by Aleida Assmann, according to which functional memory preserves the ‘present past’ in the form of a canon, whereas archival memory preserves the ‘past past’ with the archive as its paradigmatic form, is here utilized to compare two different uses of dance legacy. Starting from this theoretical framework, the author examines two modern dance traditions, the one founded by Martha Graham and that of Rudolf Laban, and the management of these examples of intangible heritage by different generations of pupils and scholars.


Susanne Franco è ricercatore presso l’Università di Salerno dove insegna Storia della danza, Metodologia della ricerca e Analisi coreografica. È autrice della monografia Martha Graham (Palermo, L’Epos, 2003). Ha curato il numero monografico di «Biblioteca teatrale» (2006, 78), Audruckstanz: il corpo, la danza e la critica, e con Marina Nordera, I discorsi della danza. Parole chiave per una metodologia della ricerca (Torino, UTET Università, 2005); Ricordanze. Memoria in movimento e coreografia della storia (Torino, UTET Università, 2010). susannefranco@alice.it


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