A Permanent Parliament: Notes on Social Choreography

Join us for a Zoom talk with Michael Kliën and Cory Tamler discussion the newest Segal Center Publication. A Permanent Parliament: Notes on Social Choreography (2022).

Over the past decade, at least a thousand people (among them philosophers, office workers, professional dancers, scientists, students, artists, and the author-editor of this book) have participated in Parliament sessions from Athens to NYC. For all its potency, Parliament resists being written about, starting from any attempt to describe what it is. It resists authorship too. Choreographer and artist Michael Kliën prefers to say he discovered it, or wished for it, from within a felt urgency that things are just not sustainable.”
Artist and writer Cory Tamler holds the container, editing together her memories of her own experiences as a participant, excerpts from conversations with Kliën and from his personal archive, theoretical propositions for the way Parliament could go to work in the world, and reflections from other participants in Parliament over the years. An annotated bibliography makes visible the framework of ideas—from art and choreography to systems theory and political theory—within which Parliament sits.


 Michael Kliën is a choreographer and artist whose work has been situated worldwide. Kliën’s artistic practice encompasses interdisciplinary thinking, critical writing, curatorial projects, and, centrally, choreographic works equally at home in the Performing and Fine Arts. He has been commissioned by leading institutions such as Ballett Frankfurt, Martha Graham Dance Company, New Museum, PS122, Volksoper Wien, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Hayward Gallery, and ZKM. As Artistic Director/CEO of Daghdha (2003—2011, Ireland), Kliën developed a distinct movement aesthetic in correspondence with influential concepts of politically engaged choreography, performance, and dance. He received a Ph.D. from the Edinburgh College of Art in 2009. After living and working in Greece, he was appointed Professor at Duke University in 2017, inaugural director of the MFA in Dance: Embodied Interdisciplinary Praxis in 2018, and director of the Laboratory for Social Choreography at the Kenan Institute of Ethics in 2020.


Cory Tamler ( is a writer, translator, and interdisciplinary artist working in Berlin, NYC, and Wabanaki/Maine. Her projects across disciplines act as containers for collective thinking through embodiment, using performance as a means, an excuse, for becoming intimate with other humans and nonhumans through collaboration. Together with In Kinship Collective, she has created interdisciplinary, research-based works in conversation and relationship with Wabanaki guides and watersheds since 2015. Cory is a Ph.D. Candidate in Theatre and Performance at The Graduate Center, CUNY and has been awarded Fulbright and DAAD fellowships to support her academic work.


Originally founded in 1979 as the Center for Advanced Studies in Theatre Arts (CASTA), The Martin E. Segal Theatre Center was renamed in March of 1999 to recognize Martin E. Segal, one of New York City’s outstanding leaders of the arts. The Segal Center curates over thirty events throughout the Spring and Fall academic seasons, all free and open to the public. Dedicated to bridging the gap between the professional and academic theatre communities, the Segal Center presents readings, performance, lectures, and artists and academics in conversation. In addition, the Segal Center presents three annual festivals (PRELUDE, PEN World Voices: International Pay Festival, and The Segal Center Film Festival on Theatre and Performance) and publishes and maintains three open access online journals (Arab Stages, European Stages, and The Journal of American Drama and Theatre). The Segal Center also publishes many volumes of plays in translation and is the leading publisher of plays from the Arab world. The Martin E. Segal Theatre Center (MESTC) is a vital component of the Theatre Program’s academic culture and creating in close collaboration a research nexus, focusing on dramaturgy, new media, and global theatre. The Segal Center provides an intimate platform where both artists and theatre professionals can actively participate with audiences to advance awareness and appreciation.

Executive Director: Frank Hentschker

, of which the Martin E. Segal Theatre Center is an integral part, is the doctorate-granting institution of The City University of New York (CUNY). An internationally recognized center for advanced studies and a national model for public doctoral education, the school offers more than thirty doctoral programs, as well as a number of master’s programs. Many of its faculty members are among the world’s leading scholars in their respective fields, and its alumni hold major positions in industry and government, as well as in academia. The Graduate Center is also home to twenty-eight interdisciplinary research centers and institutes focused on areas of compelling social, civic, cultural, and scientific concerns. Located in a landmark Fifth Avenue building, The Graduate Center has become a vital part of New York City’s intellectual and cultural life with its extensive array of public lectures, exhibitions, concerts, and theatrical events.