Done Into Dance / Edition 1

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"Ann Daly... breaks through the tradition of hagiography and pens the first truly critical study of Duncan’s career.... Done into Dance outdoes all its competitors." —Susan Manning

"[Done into Dance] is a cultural study that brings the dancer fully within the mainstream of American thought, politics, and artmaking of her time." —Lynn Garafola [checking for permission to use quote]

In this innovative study, Ann Daly looks beyond the anecdotal history surrounding American legend Isadora Duncan to examine the evolution of Duncan’s theory and practice. Daly eleaborates the complexity of Duncan’s practice as a dancer during her thirty-year career and situates that practice within the cultural contexts of late-nineteenth- and early twentieth-century America. This is a cultural study that reveals Duncan to be enmeshed in social and cultural currents of her time—the moralism of the Progressive Era, the artistic radicalism of prewar Greenwich Village, the xenophobia of the 1920s. Daly also examines Duncan’s debt to contemporary ideas about nature, beauty, and expression; her shift from a politics of personal liberation to the idea of social revolution; her association with feminism; and her racial notion of "Americanness." Ann Daly is also able to render Ducan’s dancing, and its visual record, with skill and sensitivity.

Done into Dance pushes beyond the layers of anecdote and legend that surround Duncan, and reaches toward the reasons for her enormous impact on American cultural history.

Indiana University Press

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Richly informative and beautifully written, her book will be of interest to all students of American culture.”—Rena Sanderson, Weber Studies

"A remarkable milestone in dance scholarship…The author’s synthesis of exhaustive research and the extraordinary scope of the scholarship—rendered in crisp, lively prose accessible to a broad readership—make this work unique among books about Duncan…[Done Into Dance] will be of interest to scholars of dance, American studies, women’s studies, and the arts in general…”—C.W. Sherman, Choice

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780819565600
  • Publisher: Wesleyan University Press
  • Publication date: 10/1/2002
  • Edition description: WESLEYAN E
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 292
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.66 (d)

Meet the Author

ANN DALY is Associate Professor in the department of Theatre and Dance and the University of Texas at Austin.

Indiana University Press

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Table of Contents


1. Prologue: Done into Dance
2. The Dancing Body
3. The Natural Body
4. The Expressive Body
5. The Female Body
6. The Body Politic
7. Epilogue: Twilight of an American Goddess


Indiana University Press

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