The history of dance theory has never been told. Writers in every age have theorized prescriptively, according to their own needs and ideals, and theorists themselves having continually asserted the lack of any pre-existing dance theory. Dance Theory: Source Readings from Two Millenia of Western Dance revives and reintegrates dance theory as a field of historical dance studies, presenting a coherent reading of the interaction of theory and practice during two millennia of dance history. In fifty-five selected readings with explanatory text, this book follows the various constructions of dance theories as they have morphed and evolved in time, from ancient Greece to the twenty-first century. Dance Theory is a collection of source readings that, commensurate with current teaching practice, foregrounds dance and performance theory in its presentation of western dance forms. Divided into nine chapters organized chronologically by historical era and predominant intellectual and artistic currents, the book presents a history of an idea from one generation to another. Each chapter contains introductions that not only provide context and significance for the individual source readings, but also create narrative threads that link different chapters and time periods. Based entirely on primary sources, the book makes no claim to cite every source, but rather, in connecting the dots between significant high points, it attempts to trace a coherent and fair narrative of the evolution of dance theory as a concept in Western culture.
A collaboration between well-established and rising scholars, Futures of Dance Studies suggests multiple directions for new research in the field. Essays address dance in a wider range of contexts--onstage, on screen, in the studio, and on the street--and deploy methods from diverse disciplines. Engaging African American and African diasporic studies, Latinx and Latin American studies, gender and sexuality studies, and Asian American and Asian studies, this anthology demonstrates the relevance of dance analysis to adjacent fields.
Dance is often considered an ephemeral art, one that disappears nearly as soon as it materializes, leaving no physical object behind. Yet some dance practice involves people trying to embody something that exists before - and survives beyond - their particular acts of dancing. What exactly is that thing? And (how) do dances continue to exist when not performed? Anna Pakes seeks to answer these and related questions in this book, drawing on analytic philosophy of art to explore the metaphysics of dance making, performance and disappearance. Focusing on Western theater dance, Pakes also traces the different ways dances have been conceptualized across time, and what those historical shifts imply for the ontology of dance works.
Moving Lessons is an insightful and sophisticated look at the origins and influence of dance in American universities, focusing on Margaret H'Doubler (1889-1982), who established the first university courses and the first degree program in dance. Janice Ross shows how H'Doubler changed the way Americans thought, not just about female physicality but also about higher education for women. In this second edition, Ross adds new details on H'Doubler's radical pedagogy--including her use of a skeleton as a teaching tool in the classroom--and reflections on recent developments in dance studies and education.
The first of its kind, this volume presents case studies from experts in the field of dance education, examining theory and practice developed from real-world scenarios that call for ethical decision-making. Dilemmas faced by dance instructors in the studio, on stage, in recreation centers and correctional facilities, and on social media are explored, accompanied by activities for humanizing dance pedagogy. These challenges converge from educational policies and mandates developed over the past two decades, including teacher-proof "scripted" curriculum, high-stakes testing, standardization and methods-centered teacher preparation, and are often perpetuated by those who want to make change happen but do not know.
If the saying "To be the best, you must learn from the best" holds true, then this book is gold for all aspiring dancers. Dance Composition Basics, Second Edition, doesn''t just feature the works and brilliance of dance and choreographic legends Alonzo King and Dwight Rhoden--it is completely based on the choreographic operations and forms in three of their original works: Chants and Dreamer by King and Verge by Rhoden. All compositional exercises in the book are based on those three works, and the book itself is expertly crafted by Pamela Anderson Sofras, who has 34 years of experience teaching dance at the university level. Dance Composition Basics, designed for beginning dance composition courses, introduces dancers to choreography through a series of problem-solving activities. The activities are starting points for novice dancers to embark on their own attempts at choreography. Useful Tools The book offers several useful tools for instructors: 27 lesson plans that draw from and highlight selected portions of original compositions by King and Rhoden 33 reproducible assessment and self-evaluation forms An instructor guide that includes a sample course syllabus plus written exams for each chapter PowerPoint presentations to guide students through each lesson A web resource featuring online videos that are closely tied to the lesson plans and provide a richer learning experience for students; students can access this resource inside or outside of class Highly Valuable Video Resource The videos give students access to Alonzo King and Dwight Rhoden, highly successful and respected choreographers, who share their processes and techniques. Many video clips show the choreographers working on the same movement concepts featured in the corresponding lesson. Students will see the choreographers in action with professional dancers as they develop the movement material for each dance. Because students get to see the choreographers and dancers struggling with the same creative concepts they have been assigned, these clips add tremendous value to Dance Composition. Book and Web Resource Organization The text is split into five chapters, each of which features several lessons based on that chapter''s choreographic concept. Each lesson contains the following: An introductory statement and a vocabulary list A warm-up to prepare the body and focus the mind Structured improvisations that help dancers understand the movement concepts of the lesson Problem-solving activities that allow dancers to apply the concepts presented in the improvisations Discussion questions to engage dancers and promote understanding Assessment rubrics to guide evaluation of each dancer''s learning At the end of the book, a glossary provides definitions for the vocabulary terms introduced in the chapters. The main menu of the web resource corresponds with the five chapters in the book. To guide students'' use of the videos, icons have been placed throughout the book, referring readers to additional information in the web resource. Reviewing the videos will provide further insight into the choreographic assignment. The web resource also contains all the discussion questions, assessments, and evaluations found in the book. Instructors can distribute these to students electronically or print them out. Instructors can also adapt the forms to meet their specific needs. The Learning Process Dance Composition takes students through a systematic learning process: reading about a concept, discussing the concept, seeing the concept played out on video with professional choreographers and dancers, and exploring the concept through their own movement ideas. Through this process, which includes structured improvisations, students discover a movement vocabulary and original dance phrases. They then more fully develop their movement ideas, with specific movement assignments, and are given feedback by their peers and the instructor. Invaluable Resource Dance Composition Basics, Second Edition, is an invaluable resource for dancers of all styles, from ballet to modern jazz, as it introduces them to some of the compositional structures used by professional choreographers. Through the carefully designed lessons in the book and the expert examples on the video clips, students can use this resource to take their first confident and exhilarating steps into the craft of choreography.
This book is the first to consider contemporary African dance theatre aesthetics in the context of phenomenology, whiteness, and the gaze. Rather than a discussion of African dance per se, the author challenges hegemonic perceptions of contemporary African dance theatre to interrogate the extent to which white supremacy and privilege weave through capitalist necropolitics and determine our perception of contemporary African dance theatre today. Multiple aesthetic strategies are discussed throughout the book to account for the affective experience of 'un-suturing' that touches white spectatorship and colonial guilt at their core. The critical analysis covers a broad range of dance choreography by artists from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ivory Coast, South Africa, Canada, Europe, and the US as they travel, create, and show their works internationally to global audiences to contest racial divides and white supremacist politics.
A Revolution in Movement is the first book to illuminate how collaborations between dancers and painters shaped Mexico?s postrevolutionary cultural identity. K. Mitchell Snow traces this relationship throughout nearly half a century of developments in Mexican dance?the emulation of Diaghilev?s Ballets Russes in the 1920s, the adoption of U.S.-style modern dance in the 1940s, and the creation of ballet-inspired folk dance in the 1960s. Snow describes the appearances in Mexico by Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova and Spanish concert dancer Tortóla Valencia, who helped motivate Mexico to express its own national identity through dance. He discusses the work of muralists and other visual artists in tandem with Mexico?s theatrical dance world, including Diego Rivera?s collaborations with ballet composer Carlos Chávez; Carlos Mérida?s leadership of the National School of Dance; José Clemente Orozco?s involvement in the creation of the Ballet de la Ciudad de México; and Miguel Covarrubias, who led the ?golden age? of Mexican modern dance. Snow draws from a rich trove of historical newspaper accounts and other contemporary documents to show how these collaborations produced an image of modern Mexico that would prove popular both locally and internationally and continues to endure today.
While she is best remembered today as founder of the Philadelphia Ballet and the director and driving force behind the famous Littlefield School of Ballet, from which Balanchine drew the nucleus for his School of American Ballet, Catherine Littlefield (1905-51) and her oeuvre were in many ways emblematic of the full representation of dance throughout entertainments of the first half of the 20th century. From her early work as a teenager dancing for Florenz Ziegfeld to her later work in choreographing extravagant ice skating shows, a remarkable dance with 90 bicyclists for the 1940 World's Fair, and on television as resident choreographer for The Jimmy Durante Show, Littlefield was amongst the first choreographers to bring concert dance to broader venues, and her legacy lives on today in her enduring influence on generations of American ballet dancers. As the first biography of Littlefield, Catherine Littlefield: A Life in Dance traces her life in full from birth through childhood experiences dancing on the Academy of Music's grand stage, and from her foundation of the groundbreaking Philadelphia Ballet Company in 1935 to her later work in television and beyond. Littlefield counted among her many glamorous friends and colleagues writer Zelda Fitzgerald, conductor Leopold Stokowski, and composer Kurt Weill. This biography also provides an engrossing portrait of the remarkable Littlefield family, many of whom were instrumental to Catherine's success. With the unflagging support of her generous husband and indomitable mother, Littlefield gave shape to the course of American ballet in the 20th century long before Balanchine arrived in the United States.
The final iteration of Rainer's dance rant A Truncated History of the Universe for Dummies, accompanied by texts offering a real-time account of Rainer's creative process. Choreographer and filmmaker Yvonne Rainer has long investigated the ways in which movement can be a political act in and of itself--on the stage, on the screen, or at the lectern. In Revisions, Rainer pushes her interest in embodied activism to a new arena- what she calls the "dance rant." This volume includes the final iteration of Rainer's latest dance rant, entitled A Truncated History of the Universe for Dummies. This performance piece evolved in live presentations in Dublin, Stockholm, and New York before being expanded and adapted in written form here. In this now-completed work, Rainer mobilizes her rage and bafflement at contemporary political events through the guise of Apollo, Leader of the Muses.
In Choreographing in Color, J. Lorenzo Perillo investigates the development of Filipino popular dance and performance since the late 20th century. Drawing from nearly two decades of ethnography, choreographic analysis, and community engagement with artists, choreographers, and organizers,Perillo shifts attention away from the predominant Philippine neoliberal and U.S. imperialist emphasis on Filipinos as superb mimics, heroic migrants, model minorities, and natural dancers and instead asks: what does it mean for Filipinos to navigate the violent forces of empire and neoliberalismwith street dance and Hip-Hop?Employing critical race, feminist, and performance studies, Perillo analyzes the conditions of possibility that gave rise to Filipino dance phenomena across viral, migrant, theatrical, competitive, and diplomatic performance in the Philippines and diaspora. Advocating for serious engagements withthe dancing body, Perillo rethinks a staple of Hip-Hop's regulation, the "euphemism," as a mode of social critique for understanding how folks have engaged with both racial histories of colonialism and gendered labor migration. Figures of euphemism - the zombie, hero, robot, and judge - constitute away of seeing Filipino Hip-Hop as contiguous with a multi-racial repertoire of imperial crossing, thus uncovering the ways Black dance intersects Filipino racialization and reframing the ongoing, contested underdog relationship between Filipinos and U.S. global power. Choreographing in Colortherefore reveals how the Filipino dancing body has come to be, paradoxically, both globally recognized and indiscernible.
A performance-ethnographic examination of dance and civil war in Sri Lanka Moving Bodies, Navigating Conflict is a groundbreaking ethnographic examination of dance practice in Colombo, Sri Lanka, during the civil war (1983-2009). It is the first book of scholarship on bharata natyam (a classical dance originating in India) in Sri Lanka, and the first on the role of this dance in the country's war. Focusing on women dancers, Ahalya Satkunaratnam shows how they navigated conditions of conflict and a neoliberal, global economy, resisted nationalism and militarism, and advocated for peace. Her interdisciplinary methodology combines historical analysis, methods of dance studies, and dance ethnography.
Les Ballets C de la B was founded by Alain Platel in 1984. Since then it has become a company that enjoys great success at home and abroad. Over the years, Platel has developed a unique choreographic oeuvre. His motto, 'This dance is for the world and the world is for everyone', reveals a deep social and political commitment.Through the three topics of emotions, gestures and politics, this book unravels the choreopolitics of Platel's Les Ballets C de la B. His choreopolitics go beyond conveying a (political) message because rather than defending one opinion, Platel is more concerned about the exposure of the complexity within the debate itself. Highly respected scholars from different fields contribute to this book to provide an interdisciplinary perspective on the intense emotions, the damaged narratives, and the precarious bodies in Platel's choreographic oeuvre.
Surveying the state of American ballet in a 1913 issue of McClure's Magazine, author Willa Cather reported that few girls expressed any interest in taking ballet class and that those who did were hard-pressed to find anything other than dingy studios and imperious teachers. One hundred years later, ballet is everywhere. There are ballet companies large and small across the United States; ballet is commonly featured in film, television, literature, and on social media; professional ballet dancers are spokespeople for all kinds of products; nail polish companies market colors like "Ballet Slippers" and "Prima Ballerina;" and, most importantly, millions of American children have taken ballet class. Beginning with the arrival of Russian dancers like Anna Pavlova, who first toured the United States on the eve of World War I, Ballet Class: An American History explores the growth of ballet from an ancillary part of nineteenth-century musical theater, opera, and vaudeville to the quintessential extracurricular activity it is today, pursued by countless children nationwide and an integral part of twentieth-century American childhood across borders of gender, class, race, and sexuality. A social history, Ballet Class takes a new approach to the very popular subject of ballet and helps ground an art form often perceived to be elite in the experiences of regular, everyday people who spent time in barre-lined studios across the United States. Drawing on a wide variety of materials, including children's books, memoirs by professional dancers and choreographers, pedagogy manuals, and dance periodicals, in addition to archival collections and oral histories, this pathbreaking study provides a deeply-researched national perspective on the history and significance of recreational ballet class in the United States and its influence on many facets of children's lives, including gender norms, consumerism, body image, children's literature, extracurricular activities, and popular culture.
Tony and Olivier Award-winning Bob Avian's dazzling life story, Dancing Man: A Broadway Choreographer's Journey, is a memoir in three acts. Act I reveals the origins of one of Broadway's legendary choreographers who appeared onstage with stars like Barbra Streisand and Mary Martin all before he was thirty. Act II includes teaching Katharine Hepburn how to sing and dance in Coco and working with Stephen Sondheim and Michael Bennett while helping to choreograph the original productions of Company and Follies. During this time, Avian won a Tony Award as the cochoreographer of A Chorus Line and produced the spectacular Tony Award-winning Dreamgirls. For a triumphant third act, Avian choreographed Julie Andrews's return to the New York stage, devised all of the musical staging for Miss Saigon and Sunset Boulevard, and directed A Chorus Line on Broadway. He worked with the biggest names on Broadway, including Andrew Lloyd Webber, Carol Burnett, Jennifer Holliday, Patti LuPone, Elaine Stritch, and Glenn Close. Candid, witty, sometimes shocking, and always entertaining, here at last is the ultimate up-close and personal insider's view from a front row seat at the creation of the biggest, brightest, and best Broadway musicals of the past fifty years.