Mobile Performance and Nomadic Theory: Staging Movement,Thinking Mobility


  • Liesbeth Groot Nibbelink Utrecht University



nomadic, territory, deterritorialization, reterritorialization, (nomadic) attitude, mobility


This essay discusses the nomadic not so much in terms of mobile existence or physical displacement, but primarily in connection with the concept as a type of movement that disturbs the notion of territory, and that is intrinsically related to processes of deterritorialization and reterritorialization. This particular reading of the nomadic is based on how the concept has been theorized and conceptualized by Gilles Deleuze, partly in close collaboration with Félix Guattari. Their nomadology serves as a lens through which to study territories-in-motion, in connection to (urban) mobile performances and relationships between theory and practice. The essay intends to demonstrate that the enquiry into dispersed and mobilized territories is a productive tool for analyzing movement and mobility in contemporary performance. Firstly, nomadism is presented as a particular attitude, connected to acts of de- and reterritorialization. Secondly, this perspective is employed to explore some of the dispersed territories that form the basis of the ambulatory performance "No Man’s Land" by Dutch director and scenographer Dries Verhoeven. Lastly, the discussion is extended towards a mobile research symposium, Thinking Scenography, which takes scenography itself as an (embod- ied) mode of thought. Here, a nomadic attitude materializes through non-hierarchical, practice-based forms of knowledge production.

Author Biography

Liesbeth Groot Nibbelink, Utrecht University

Liesbeth Groot Nibbelink is a teacher and researcher in Theatre Studies at the Department of Media and Culture Studies of Utrecht University. She has published in Performance Research, Contemporary Theatre Review and in Mapping Intermediality in Performance (ed. Bay-Cheng et al, 2010). She recently complet- ed her PhD thesis, entitled Nomadic Theatre: Staging Movement and Mobility in Contemporary Performance (Utrecht University). This PhD research led to close collaborations with the Dutch Platform-Scenography and the Research Centre Performative Processes at the HKU University of the Arts, two research platforms that both employ and study creative and embodied forms of reflection on artistic practice.


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How to Cite

Nibbelink, L. G. (2015). Mobile Performance and Nomadic Theory: Staging Movement,Thinking Mobility. Nordic Theatre Studies, 27(1), 22–31.



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