Meaning in Motion: New Cultural Studies of Dance / Edition 1

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Overview

Dance, whether considered as an art form or embodied social practice, as product or process, is a prime subject for cultural analysis. Yet only recently have studies of dance become concerned with the ideological, theoretical, and social meanings of dance practices, performances, and institutions. In Meaning in Motion, Jane C. Desmond brings together the work of critics who have ventured into the boundaries between dance and cultural studies, and thus maps a little-known and rarely explored critical site.
Writing from a broad range of perspectives, contributors from disciplines as varied as art history and anthropology, dance history and political science, philosophy and women’s studies chart the questions and challenges that mark this site. How does dance enact or rework social categories of identity? How do meanings change as dance styles cross borders of race, nationality, or class? How do we talk about materiality and motion, sensation and expressivity, kinesthetics and ideology? The authors engage these issues in a variety of contexts: from popular social dances to the experimentation of the avant-garde; from nineteenth-century ballet and contemporary Afro-Brazilian Carnival dance to hip hop, the dance hall, and film; from the nationalist politics of folk dances to the feminist philosophies of modern dance. Giving definition to a new field of study, Meaning in Motion broadens the scope of dance analysis and extends to cultural studies new ways of approaching matters of embodiment, identity, and representation.

Contributors. Ann Cooper Albright, Evan Alderson, Norman Bryson, Cynthia Cohen Bull, Ann Daly, Brenda Dixon Gottschild, Susan Foster, Mark Franko, Marianne Goldberg, Amy Koritz, Susan Kozel, Susan Manning, Randy Martin, Angela McRobbie, Kate Ramsey, Anna Scott, Janet Wolff

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Contains 18 essays exploring issues in dance such as ideology, subjectivity, social categorization, representation, and the disciplining of the body. Representative paper topics include feminism and body politics, strategies of mimesis in the work of Irigaray and Bausch, the female dancer and the male gaze, the staging of folklore in mid-20th-century Haiti, homogenized ballerinas, and dance ethnography and the limits of representation. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780822319429
  • Publisher: Duke University Press
  • Publication date: 4/28/1997
  • Series: Post-Contemporary Interventions Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 408
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.48 (h) x 1.16 (d)

Meet the Author

Jane C. Desmond is Associate Professor of American Studies and Women’s Studies at the University of Iowa.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction 1
I Dance and Cultural Studies
1 Embodying Difference: Issues in Dance and Cultural Studies 29
2 Cultural Studies and Dance History 55
II Social Lives, Social Bodies
3 Reinstating Corporeality: Feminism and Body Politics 81
4 "The Story Is Told as a History of the Body": Strategies of Mimesis in the Work of Irigaray and Bausch 101
5 Classical Ballet: A Discourse of Difference 111
6 Ballet as Ideology: Giselle, Act 2 121
7 Dancing the Orient for England: Maud Allan's The Vision of Salome 133
8 The Female Dancer and the Male Gaze: Feminist Critiques of Early Modern Dance 153
9 Some Thoughts on Choreographing History 167
10 Auto-Body Stories: Blondell Cummings and Autobiography in Dance 179
11 Dance Narratives and Fantasies of Achievement 207
III Expanding Agendas for Critical Thinking
12 Dancing Bodies 235
13 Spectacle and Dancing Bodies That Matter: Or, If It Don't Fit, Don't Force It 259
14 Sense, Meaning, and Perception in Three Dance Cultures 269
15 Some Notes on Yvonne Rainer, Modernism, Politics, Emotion, Performance, and the Aftermath 289
16 Homogenized Ballerinas 305
17 Dance Ethnography and the Limits of Representation 321
18 Vodou, Nationalism, and Performance: The Staging of Folklore in Mid-Twentieth-Century Haiti 345
Notes on Contributors 379
Permissions 383
Index 385
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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 31, 2000

    An Outstanding Collection of Essays in Feminist Dance Scholarship

    Editor Jane C. Desmond brings together a collection of provocative essays analyzing ballet, modern, and post-modern dance from feminist and multi-cultural perspectives. Some prominent topics include: 1) The male gaze and dance performance; 2) Objective versus subjective performance; 3) Michel Foucault's Docile Body Theory and Dance; 4) Gender difference and aesthetic virtues; 5) Nationalism versus the racial 'other'; 6) Combining the universal and the personal through autobiographical performance.

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