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New Perspectives on the Romantic Ballet
Rethinking the Sylph gathers essays by a premier group of international scholars to illustrate the importance of the romantic ballet within the broad context of western theatrical dancing. The wide variety of perspectives -- from social history to feminism, from psychoanalysis to musicology -- serves to illuminate the modernity of the Romantic ballet in terms of vocabulary, representation of gender, and iconography. The collection highlights previously unexplored aspects of the Romantic ballet, including its internationalism; its reflection of modern ideas of nationalism through the use and creation of national dance forms; its construction of an exotic-erotic hierarchy, and proto-orientalist "other"; its transformation of social relations from clan to class; and the repercussions of its feminization as an art form. This generously illustrated book offers a wealth of rare archival material, including prints, costume designs, music, and period reviews, some translated into English for the first time.
Rituals and Remembrances
Along with linked modes of religiosity, music and dance have long occupied a central position in the ways in which Atlantic peoples have enacted, made sense of, and responded to their encounters with each other. This unique collection of essays connects nations from across the Atlantic---Senegal, Kenya, Trinidad, Cuba, Brazil, and the United States, among others---highlighting contemporary popular, folkloric, and religious music and dance. By tracking the continuous reframing, revision, and erasure of aural, oral, and corporeal traces, the contributors to Rhythms of the Afro-Atlantic World collectively argue that music and dance are the living evidence of a constant (re)composition and (re)mixing of local sounds and gestures. Rhythms of the Afro-Atlantic World distinguishes itself as a collection focusing on the circulation of cultural forms across the Atlantic world, tracing the paths trod by a range of music and dance forms within, across, or beyond the variety of locales that constitute the Atlantic world. The editors and contributors do so, however, without assuming that these paths have been either always in line with national, regional, or continental boundaries or always transnational, transgressive, and perfectly hybrid/syncretic. This collection seeks to reorient the discourse on cultural forms moving in the Atlantic world by being attentive to the specifics of the forms---their specific geneses, the specific uses to which they are put by their creators and consumers, and the specific ways in which they travel or churn in place. Mamadou Diouf is Leitner Family Professor of African Studies, Director of the Institute of African Studies, and Professor of History at Columbia University. Ifeoma Kiddoe Nwankwo is Associate Professor of English at Vanderbilt University.
A Global Dance in Local Contexts
Contributors include Bárbara Balbuena Gutiérrez, Katherine Borland, Joanna Bosse, Rossy Díaz, Saúl Escalona, Kengo Iwanaga, Isabel Llano, Jonathan S. Marion, Priscilla Renta, Alejandro Ulloa Sanmiguel, and the editor.
In the series Studies in Latin American and Caribbean Music, edited by Peter Manuel
Choreographers and the Lure of Alternative Spaces
In recent years, site-specific dance has grown in popularity. In the wake of groundbreaking work by choreographers who left traditional performance spaces for other venues, more and more performances are cropping up on skyscrapers, in alleyways, on trains, on the decks of aircraft carriers, and in a myriad of other unexpected locations worldwide.
In Site Dance, the first anthology to examine site-specific dance, editors Melanie Kloetzel and Carolyn Pavlik explore the work that choreographers create for nontraditional performance spaces and the thinking behind their creative choices. Combining interviews with and essays by some of the most prominent and influential practitioners of site dance, they look at the challenges and rewards of embracing alternative spaces.
The close examinations of the work of artists like Meredith Monk, Joanna Haigood, Stephan Koplowitz, Heidi Duckler, Ann Carlson, and Eiko Otake provide important insights into why choreographers leave the theatre to embrace the challenges of unconventional venues.
Site Dance also includes more than 80 photographs of site-specific performances, revealing how the arts, and movement in particular, can become part of and speak to our everyday lives. Celebrating the often unexpected beauty and juxtapositions created by site dance, the book is essential reading for anyone curious about the way that these choreographers are changing our experience of the world one step at a time.
Ballet and Power in Soviet Russia
Classical ballet was perhaps the most visible symbol of aristocratic culture and its isolation from the rest of Russian society under the tsars. In the wake of the October Revolution, ballet, like all of the arts, fell under the auspices of the Soviet authorities. In light of these events, many feared that the imperial ballet troupes would be disbanded. Instead, the Soviets attempted to mold the former imperial ballet to suit their revolutionary cultural agenda and employ it to reeducate the masses. As Christina Ezrahi’s groundbreaking study reveals, they were far from successful in this ambitious effort to gain complete control over art. Swans of the Kremlin offers a fascinating glimpse at the collision of art and politics during the volatile first fifty years of the Soviet period. Ezrahi shows how the producers and performers of Russia’s two major troupes, the Mariinsky (later Kirov) and the Bolshoi, quietly but effectively resisted Soviet cultural hegemony during this period. Despite all controls put on them, they managed to maintain the classical forms and traditions of their rich artistic past and to further develop their art form. These aesthetic and professional standards proved to be the power behind the ballet’s worldwide appeal. The troupes soon became the showpiece of Soviet cultural achievement, as they captivated Western audiences during the Cold War period. Based on her extensive research into official archives, and personal interviews with many of the artists and staff, Ezrahi presents the first-ever account of the inner workings of these famed ballet troupes during the Soviet era. She follows their struggles in the postrevolutionary period, their peak during the golden age of the 1950s and 1960s, and concludes with their monumental productions staged to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the revolution in 1968.
Indian Dance as Transnational Labor
A groundbreaking book that seeks to understand dance as labor, Sweating Saris examines dancers not just as aesthetic bodies but as transnational migrant workers and wage earners who negotiate citizenship and gender issues.
Srinivasan merges ethnography, history, critical race theory, performance and post-colonial studies among other disciplines to investigate the embodied experience of Indian dance. The dancers’ sweat stained and soaked saris, the aching limbs are emblematic of global circulations of labor, bodies, capital, and industrial goods. Thus the sweating sari of the dancer stands in for her unrecognized labor.
Srinivasan shifts away from the usual emphasis on Indian women dancers as culture bearers of the Indian nation. She asks us to reframe the movements of late nineteenth century transnational Nautch Indian dancers to the foremother of modern dance Ruth St. Denis in the early twentieth century to contemporary teenage dancers in Southern California, proposing a transformative theory of dance, gendered-labor, and citizenship that is far-reaching.
The Argentine tango is one of the world’s best-known partner dances. Though tango is much admired and discussed, very little has been written on its ongoing evolution. In this innovative work, Carolyn Merritt surveys tango history while focusing on the most recent iteration of the dance, tango Nuevo, and the práctica scene that has exploded in Buenos Aires since the early 2000s.
After starting with an overview of tango, Merritt leads readers on a great adventure through the traditional dance halls and the less formal prácticas of Buenos Aires to tango communities on both coasts of the United States. Along the way, Merritt’s personal observations show the dance’s emotional depth and the challenges dancers face in tango venues old and new. Her investigation also demonstrates how innovation, globalization, and fusion, which many associate with nuevo, have always been at work in tango.
Combining sensuous prose, provocative images, and often heartbreaking stories, this book takes an unflinching look at the complex motivations driving the pursuit to master this intricate dance. Throughout, Merritt questions the "newness" of Nuevo through portraits of machismo, violence, and elitism in contemporary tango. The result is a volume that highlights the tensions between preservation and evolution of this--or any--cultural art form.
Members of the global tango community as well as students of dance, folklore, anthropology, and the social sciences will embrace this book. For those who are devoted to Argentine tango as dance, this book will be indispensable to understanding its most recent transformations.
Vous regardez les danseurs évoluer sur la piste, fascinés par les motifs que tracent agilement leurs pieds sur le sol. Puis, votre regard remonte lentement leurs corps enlacés et pénètre, pour quelques moments, leur intimité. Au-delà des costumes flamboyants et des pas de danse, vous comprenez que le tango cache en lui les délicats mécanismes des rapports humains. C’est également ce qu’a compris France Joyal en initiant, il y a trois ans, un cycle de colloques et de publications universitaires sur le tango. Poursuivant le travail accompli dans Tango, corps à corps culturel (2009), elle met ici à contribution les expertises scientifiques et professionnelles de chercheurs d’origines diverses – française, argentine, roumaine et québécoise – et de domaines variés – psychologie, géomatique cognitive, musique, psychiatrie, histoire, littérature, sociologie, danse et éducation artistique. Ensemble, ils offrent un panorama du tango, de ses fondements, de son caractère improvisé, de ses incidences sur le mieux-être de l'individu et de son extraordinaire potentiel métaphorique. Les chercheurs de tous les domaines, les intervenants en santé, de même que les professeurs, danseurs et amateurs de tango, se sentiront interpellés par cet ouvrage qui marque les prémisses de la «tangologie», d’une science du tango. Assurément, le tango n’a pas de frontières.
In examining ideokinesis and its application to the teaching and practice of dancing, Drid Williams introduces readers to the work of Dr. Lulu Sweigard (1895-1974), a pioneer of ideokinetic principles. Drawing on her experiences during private instructional sessions with Sweigard over a two-year span, Williams discusses methods using imagery for improving body posture and alignment for ease of movement. Central to Williams's own teaching methods is the application of Sweigard's principles and general anatomical instruction, including how she used visual imagery to help prevent bodily injuries and increasing body awareness relative to movement. Williams also emphasizes the differences between kinesthetic (internal) and mirror (external) imagery and shares reactions from professional dancers who were taught using ideokinesis. Williams's account of teaching and practicing ideokinesis is supplemented with essays by Sweigard, William James, and Jean-Georges Noverre on dancing, posture, and habits.