Claire Vionnet is an Anthropologist, Dance Scholar and Dancer. She wrote a PhD on the creation of gestures in contemporary dance, exploring notions of body, improvisation, senses, shadow/ghost, production processes, autoethnography, phenomenology (University of Lausanne, 2018). Her publications address artistic identities (2015), dance world organization (2016), collaboration between Art and Anthropology (2016), interpretation of performances (2017), affects (2018), intimacy/vulnerability (2019), dance rituals (2020). In her current postdoctoral research, she explores the phenomenon of intimacy in/through dance, departing from an experimental method in dance studios (research-creation). She runs workshops with dancers/choreographers in Montreal, Paris and Dakar to understand the cultural variety of intimate experiences. Supported by the Swiss National Research Foundation, she collaborated with research teams of Tim Ingold (Knowing from the Inside, Aberdeen, 2016) and Erin Manning (SenseLab, Montreal, 2019).
As a dancer, she works creatively with dance communities (West African Dances (Sabar), Contemporary Dance, Contact Improvisation), reflecting on the way art/dance produces knowledge. She develops alternative forms of ethnographic restitution (video-essay, lecture-performance, performative dialogs in festivals) to reach a broader audience beyond Academia. She is also active in theaters to bring an anthropological gaze on performance making.
Marked by her time lived in Africa (Cameroon 1984-1990, Tanzania 2012), she is engaged in organizations active for asylum seekers, North-South relationships and social justice. She is particularly interested in the role humanities play in society and keen to reflect on better reuniting Anthropology, Art and Society. She is leading a laboratory with PhD Students of the University of Bern, within THOR project (Walter Benjamin Kolleg) - drawing on the Manifesto of Mikhail Epstein The Transformative Humanities.