Entr’acte: Mobile Choreography and Sydney Rail Commuters


Colin Symes

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - australasia, mode - rail, ridership - behaviour, ridership - commuting


Mobile choreography, Commuting, Railways, Place ballet, CityRail


The significance of the journey as a component of travel has been overlooked. The mobility turn has remedied this. There is now intense interest in mobility practices, in life on the move, and the cultures generated in vehicular environments. Though commuting is one of the most mundane, popular and ubiquitous forms of mobility, it is only beginning to receive the attention that is its due. In this paper, a mobile ethnography of commuting in Sydney is undertaken. It focuses particularly on the corporeality of commuting, on the territorialising and de-territorialising that occurs within crowded spaces of trains and on platforms during peak hours. It argues that passengers engage in complex ‘choreographies’ to avoid contact with one another.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Taylor&Francis, copyright remains with them.