Tandem Dances: Choreographing Immersive Performance

The first book to propose dance and choreography as frames through which to examine immersive theatre, more broadly known as immersive performance.

Indicative of a larger renaissance in storytelling during the digital age, immersive performance is influenced by emerging computer technologies, such as virtual reality and advances in video-gaming, as well as increased interest in new forms of experiential entertainment.

The idea of tandemness — suggesting motion that is achieved by two bodies working together and acting in conjunction with one another — is critical throughout the book. Ritter’s close choreographic analysis of immersive productions, along with unique insights from choreographers, directors, performers, and spectators, enlivens discourse across dramaturgy, kinesthesia, affect, and co-authorship. By foregrounding the choreographic in order to examine its specific impact on the evolution of immersive theater, Tandem Dances explores choreography as a discursive domain that is fundamentally related to creative practice, agendas of power and control, and concomitant issues of freedom and agency.

Tandem Dances was published by Oxford University Press in 2020.

Editorial Reviews
Tandem Dances makes a welcome intervention in a field that has marginalised the perspectives and insights of dance scholars, dancers, choreographers, and choreographed audiences. It prompts reconsideration of how audiences are immersed in contemporary performance by centring on choreography, kinesthesia, and improvisatory engagement as key elements underpinning the design and experience of immersive environments, and offers a helpful means of conceptualising and analysing audience immersion in ways that I'm sure will inspire fresh consideration of the political in immersive performance.
Adam Alston
Goldsmiths, University of London
While dance is integral to so much immersive theatre, its contribution remains relatively covert. Ritter has written a much-needed book to work through the production and reception of choreography within this contemporary performance form.
Kate Elswit
Author of Theatre & Dance and Watching Weimar Dance
It is her surprising release from the sobriety of academic writing—the ivory bones beneath the flesh of experience—into sensory, emotional storytelling, with details our bodyminds can see, hear and feel, that Tandem Dances suddenly spring to life…Ritter’s book persuades—much in the way that excellent immersive performance invites, engages and persuades.
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