Something in the Way She Moves: Dancing Women from Salome to Madonna

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With heroines like Josephine Baker, Colette, Isadora Duncan, and the cancaneuses of the Moulin Rouge, this is far from a conventional history.Rich with both fascinating anecdotes (such as the New Jersey girl picked up by the police for dancing the very sexy turkey trot one day during the Roaring Twenties), and astonishing facts (the first geishas were men), Something in the Way She Moves shows us the world of dance and sex through women's eyes. Best-selling author Wendy Buonaventura brings us from Buenos Aires, ...

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Overview

With heroines like Josephine Baker, Colette, Isadora Duncan, and the cancaneuses of the Moulin Rouge, this is far from a conventional history.Rich with both fascinating anecdotes (such as the New Jersey girl picked up by the police for dancing the very sexy turkey trot one day during the Roaring Twenties), and astonishing facts (the first geishas were men), Something in the Way She Moves shows us the world of dance and sex through women's eyes. Best-selling author Wendy Buonaventura brings us from Buenos Aires, Argentina, where immigrants created the delicious tango, to Paris and the bawdy, leggy cancan dancers of the Moulin Rouge, to New York, where struggling African-Americans cakewalked, Charlestoned, and shimmied into the public eye, creating "jazz dance" (originally—and tellingly—called "jass" dance). This is a book for lovers of dance and lovers of history alike, and an engrossing introduction to a slightly seamy side of a cultural legacy.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Buonaventura, a dancer, choreographer, and writer (Serpent of the Nile: Women and Dance in the Arab World) weaves a women's history of dance out of threads of colorful anecdotes, sharp insights, and social, cultural, and political history. Spinning around the globe and through the centuries, the narrative takes us into the backgrounds of dances like the tango, waltz, and cancan, as well as the lives of dancers like Isadora Duncan, Josephine Baker, and Gelsey Kirkland. Social and theatrical dances of the East and West are examined and set in the context of their particular societies. Women's roles in society (both onstage and offstage), the relationship between dance and women's clothing, and the results of social and sexual revolutions are discussed at length. As Buonaventura states in the introduction, "[This text] looks at how women have found, in dance, a way of accommodating social constraints and subverting their sting; and at how dance has given them independence and a way out of poverty." A readable and thoroughly researched look at topics well suited to women's history and performing arts as well as social and cultural history collections.-Carolyn M. Mulac, Chicago P.L. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780306813481
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press
  • Publication date: 4/12/2004
  • Pages: 312
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

An established dancer and choreographer, Wendy Buonaventura is author of the acclaimed Serpent of the Nile. Her performance work was recently the subject of the television documentary Making Mimi. She has written and presented programs for BBC Radio 4 and has performed and lectured extensively throughout Europe and the USA.

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Table of Contents

Introduction : she moves 9
And God created devil-woman 17
Sexual imposters 39
Revolution on the dance floor 65
Forbidden fruit 95
Twentieth-century goddess 135
Black bottoms 171
Battle of the sexes 207
Danse Macabre 233
Dance of the Seven Veils 261
Afterword : still moving 285
Sources 291
Further reading 297
Index 303
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