The Returns of Alwin Nikolais: Bodies, Boundaries and the Dance Canon

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A groundbreaking choreographer, lighting designer, composer, and costumer, Alwin Nikolais (1910–1993) is recognized as one of the twentieth century's most innovative artists. Incorporating novel technological and performance tactics, he invented a total language of non-literal dance theater that attracted audiences worldwide for over forty years. The Returns of Alwin Nikolais is the first book devoted to a critical analysis of Nikolais’s work, and it provides a broad and important overview of his artistic and philosophical trajectory. The volume brings together essays by scholars of dance history, theater studies, music, and art history, and includes primary materials such as reviews, diary excerpts, and photographs. It is a valuable resource for teachers and students of art and culture.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The Returns of Alwin Nikolais: Bodies, Boundaries, and the Dance Canon is admirable in its scope. … Together, the essays form an intellectually rigorous book that is not only about a specific artistic practice but also about ways in which the study of dance can be practiced."—Kate Elswit, Dance Research Journal
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780819565761
  • Publisher: Wesleyan University Press
  • Publication date: 6/4/2007
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 312
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

CLAUDIA GITELMAN is a veteran of Broadway and the concert stage, and professor emerita at Rutgers University. She has published on the modern dance artists Hanya Holm and Mary Wigman.

RANDY MARTIN is a professor of art and public policy at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, and the author and editor of several books, including Critical Moves: Dance Studies in Theory and Politics (1998).

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Table of Contents

Editors' Preface   Claudia Gitelman   Randy Martin     vii
A Guide to Color Plates   Claudia Gitelman     xi
Nikolais Returns   Randy Martin     1
Sense Your Mass Increasing with Your Velocity: Alwin Nikolais' Pedagogy of Unified Decentralization   Claudia Gitelman     26
The Omniloquence of Alwin Nikolais   Marcia B. Siegel     46
Artisans of Space   Marcia B. Siegel     53
Alwin Nikolais-Dancing Across Borders   Yvonne Hardt     64
Being Motion: Alwin Nikolais' Queer Objectivity   Rebekah Kowal     82
Flights of Angels, Scattered Seeds   Herbert Blau     107
The Music of Alwin Nikolais: A Provisional Study   Bob Gilmore     132
Motional Abstraction: Alwin Nikolais' Formalism   Philip Auslander     154
Period Plots, Canonical Stages, and Post-Metanarrative in American Modern Dance   Mark Franko     170
Before Henry Street: An Undated Memoir   Alwin Nikolais     191
"On Nikolais"   Murray Louis     194
Critical Reception of the Choreography of Alwin Nikolais   Naima Prevots     197
Chronology of the Choreography of AlwinNikolais   Jana Feinman     228
Log of Company Performances   Claudia Gitelman     249
Contributors     279
Index     283
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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 20, 2011

    Intellectual Drivel

    The book's anti-Nikolais bias makes all the endless academic drivel even harder to swallow. Where would academics be if they couldn't create controversy out of thin air?

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