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Film, Theater, and Performing Arts > Dance

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José Limón and La Malinche Cover

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José Limón and La Malinche

The Dancer and the Dance

Edited by Patricia Seed

José Limón (1908–1972) was one of the leading figures of modern dance in the twentieth century. Hailed by the New York Times as “the finest male dancer of his time” when the José Limón Dance Company debuted in 1947, Limón was also a renowned choreographer who won two Dance Magazine Awards and a Capezio Dance Award, two of dance’s highest honors. In addition to directing his own dance company, Limón served as artistic director of the Lincoln Center’s American Dance Theater and also taught choreography at the Juilliard School for many years. In this volume, scholars and artists from fields as diverse as dance history, art history, Mesoamerican ethnohistory, Mexican American studies, music studies, and Mexican history come together to explore one of José Limón’s masterworks, the ballet La Malinche. Offering many points of entry into the dance, they examine La Malinche from various angles, such as Limón’s life story and the influence of his Mexican heritage on his work, an analysis of the dance itself, the musical score composed by Norman Lloyd, the visual elements of props and costumes, the history and myth of La Malinche (the indigenous woman who served the Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés as interpreter and mistress), La Malinche’s continuing presence in Mexican American culture, and issues involved in a modern restaging of the dance. Also included in the book is a DVD written and directed by Patricia Harrington Delaney that presents the ballet in its entirety, accompanied by expert commentary that sets La Malinche within its artistic and historical context.

Making Caribbean Dance Cover

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Making Caribbean Dance

Continuity and Creativity in Island Cultures

Susanna Sloat

Caribbean dance is a broad category that can include everything from nightclubs to sacred ritual. Making Caribbean Dance connects the dance of the islands with their rich multicultural histories and complex identities. Delving deep into the many forms of ritual, social, carnival, staged, experimental, and performance dance, the book explores some of the most mysterious and beloved, as well as rare and little-known, dance traditions of the region.

From the evolution of Indian dance in Trinidad to the barely known rituals of los misterios in the Dominican Republic, this volume looks closely at the vibrant and varied movement vocabulary of the islands. With distinctive and highly illuminating chapters on such topics as experimental dance makers in Puerto Rico, the government's use of dance in shaping national identity in Barbados, the role of calypso and soca in linking Anglophone islands, and the invented dances of dance-hall kings and queens of Jamaica, this volume is an evocative and enlightening exploration of some of the world’s most dynamic dance cultures.

Martha Hill and the Making of American Dance Cover

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Martha Hill and the Making of American Dance

Janet Mansfield Soares

Martha Hill (1900-1995) was one of the most influential figures of twentieth century American dance. Her vision and leadership helped to establish dance as a serious area of study at the university level and solidify its position as a legitimate art form. Setting Hill's story in the context of American postwar culture and women's changing status, this riveting biography shows us how Hill led her colleagues in the development of American contemporary dance from the Kellogg School of Physical Education to Bennington College and the American Dance Festival to the Juilliard School at Lincoln Center. She created pivotal opportunities for Martha Graham, Doris Humphrey, Charles Weidman, Hanya Holm, Jose Limon, Merce Cunningham, and many others. The book provides an intimate look at the struggles and achievements of a woman dedicated to taking dance out of the college gymnasium and into the theatre, drawing on primary sources that were previously unavailable. It is lavishly illustrated with period photographs.

Masquerade and Postsocialism Cover

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Masquerade and Postsocialism

Ritual and Cultural Dispossession in Bulgaria

Gerald W. Creed

Gerald W. Creed analyzes contemporary mumming rituals in rural Bulgaria for what they reveal about life after socialism -- and the current state of postsocialist studies. Mumming rituals have flourished in the post-Soviet era. Elaborately costumed dancers go from house to house demanding sustenance and bestowing blessings. Through the analysis of these rites, Creed critiques key themes in postsocialist studies, including understandings of civil society and democracy, gender and sexuality, autonomy and community, and ethnicity and nationalism. He argues that these events reveal indigenous cultural resources that could have been used both practically and intellectually to ease the postsocialist reconstruction of Bulgarian society, but were not.

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The Miriam Tradition

Teaching Embodied Torah

Cynthia Sautter

The Miriam Tradition works from the premise that religious values form in and through movement, with ritual and dance developing patterns for enacting those values. Cia Sautter considers the case of Sephardic Jewish women who, following in the tradition of Miriam the prophet, performed dance and music for Jewish celebrations and special occasions. She uses rabbinic and feminist understandings of the Torah to argue that these women, called tanyaderas, "taught" Jewish values by leading appropriate behavior for major life events._x000B__x000B_Sautter considers the religious values that are in music and dance performed by tanyaderas and examines them in conjunction with written and visual records and evidence from dance and music traditions. Explaining the symbolic gestures and motions encoded in dances, Sautter shows how rituals display deeply held values that are best expressed through the body. The book argues that the activities of women in other religions might also be examined for their embodiment and display of important values, bringing forgotten groups of women back into the historical record as important community leaders.

Mirrors and Scrims Cover

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Mirrors and Scrims

The Life and Afterlife of Ballet

Marcia B. B. Siegel

In this stunning new collection of reviews and essays, dance critic Marcia B. Siegel grapples with the floating identity of ballet, as well as particular ballets, and with the expanding environment of spectacle in which ballet competes for an audience. Drawn from a wide variety of published sources, these writings concentrate on canonical works of ballet and how the performances of these works have been changing in significant ways. Siegel writes with a keen awareness of the history and mythology that surround particular works, while remaining attentive to the new ways in which a work is interpreted and re-presented by contemporary choreographers and dancers. Through her readable and provocative writings, Siegel offers critical insight into performances of the past twenty-five years to give us a new understanding of ballet in performance. The volume includes over one hundred pieces on a variety of ballet topics, from specific dances and dancers to companies and choreographers, ranging from Swan Lake and The Nutcracker to Nijinsky, Balanchine, Tharp, and Morris to the Bolshoi, the Joffrey, the Miami City Ballet, the Boston Ballet, to name just a few.

Ebook Edition Note: All images have been redacted.

The Modern Dance Cover

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The Modern Dance

Seven Statements of Belief

Selma Jeanne Cohen

CONTRIBUTORS: Jose Limon, Anna Sokolow, Erick Hawkins, Donald McKayle, Alwin Nikolas, Pauline Koner, Paul Taylor.

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Movable Pillars

Organizing Dance, 1956-1978

Katja Kolcio

Movable Pillars traces the development of dance as scholarly inquiry over the course of the 20th century, and describes the social-political factors that facilitated a surge of interest in dance research in the period following World War II. This surge was reflected in the emergence of six key dance organizations: the American Dance Guild, the Congress on Research in Dance, the American Dance Therapy Association, the American College Dance Festival Association, the Dance Critics Association, and the Society of Dance History Scholars. Kolcio argues that their founding between the years 1956 and 1978 marked a new period of collective action in dance and is directly related to the inclusion of moving bodies in scholarly research and the ways in which dance studies interfaces with other fields such as feminist studies, critical research methods, and emancipatory education. An impeccable work of archival scholarship and interpretive history, Movable Pillars features nineteen interviews with dance luminaries who were intimately involved in the early years of each group. This is the first book to focus on the founding of these professional organizations and constitutes a major contribution to the understanding of the development of dance in American higher education.

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Moving Lessons

Margaret H'Doubler and the Beginning of Dance in American Education

Janice Ross

Moving Lessons is an insightful and sophisticated look at the origins and influence of dance in American universities, focusing on Margaret H'Doubler, who established the first university courses and the first degree program in dance (at the University of Wisconsin). Dance educator and historian Janice Ross shows that H'Doubler (1889–1982) was both emblematic of her time and an innovator who made deep imprints in American culture. An authentic "New Woman," H'Doubler emerged from a sheltered female Victorian world to take action in the public sphere. She changed the way Americans thought, not just about female physicality but also about higher education for women.
    Ross brings together many discourses—from dance history, pedagogical theory, women's history, feminist theory, American history, and the history of the body—in intelligent, exciting, and illuminating ways and adds a new chapter to each of them. She shows how H'Doubler, like Isadora Duncan and other modern dancers, helped to raise dance in the eyes of the middle class from its despised status as lower-class entertainment and "dangerous" social interaction to a serious enterprise. Taking a nuanced critical approach to the history of women's bodies and their representations, Moving Lessons fills a very large gap in the history of dance education.

My Body, The Buddhist Cover

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My Body, The Buddhist

Deborah Hay

Through a series of imaginative approaches to movement and performance, choreographer Deborah Hay presents a profound reflection on the ephemeral nature of the self and the body as the locus of artistic consciousness. Using the same uniquely playful poetics of her revolutionary choreography, she delivers one of the most revealing accounts of what art creation entails and the ways in which the body, the center of our aesthetic knowledge of the world, can be regarded as our most informed teacher.

My Body, The Buddhist becomes a way into Hay's choreographic techniques, a gloss on her philosophy of the body (which shares much with Buddhism), and an extraordinary artist's primer. The book is composed of nineteen short chapters ("my body likes to rest," "my body finds energy in surrender," "my body is bored by answers"), each an example of what Susan Foster calls Hay's "daily attentiveness to the body's articulateness."

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