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Film, Theater, and Performing Arts > Dance

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Women’s Work Cover

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Women’s Work

Making Dance in Europe before 1800

Edited by Lynn Matluck Brooks

Like the history of women, dance has been difficult to capture as a historical subject. Yet in bringing together these two areas of study, the nine internationally renowned scholars in this volume shed new and surprising light on women’s roles as performers of dance, choreographers, shapers of aesthetic trends, and patrons of dance in Italy, France, England, and Germany before 1800.
    Through dance, women asserted power in spheres largely dominated by men: the court, the theater, and the church. As women’s dance worlds intersected with men’s, their lives and visions were supported or opposed, creating a complex politics of creative, spiritual, and political expression. From a women’s religious order in the thirteenth-century Low Countries that used dance as a spiritual rite of passage to the salon culture of eighteenth-century France where dance became an integral part of women’s cultural influence, the writers in this volume explore the meaning of these women’s stories, performances, and dancing bodies, demonstrating that dance is truly a field across which women have moved with finesse and power for many centuries past.

Writing Dancing in the Age of Postmodernism Cover

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Writing Dancing in the Age of Postmodernism

Sally Banes

Drawing of the postmodern perspective and concerns that informed her groundbreaking Terpsichore in Sneakers, Sally Banes's Writing Dancing documents the background and developments of avant-garde and popular dance, analyzing individual artists, performances, and entire dance movements. With a sure grasp of shifting cultural dynamics, Banes shows how postmodern dance is integrally connected to other oppositional, often marginalized strands of dance culture, and considers how certain kinds of dance move from the margins to the mainstream.

Banes begins by considering the act of dance criticism itself, exploring its modes, methods, and underlying assumptions, and examining the work of other critics. She traces the development of contemporary dance from the early work of such influential figures as Merce Cunningham and George Balanchine to such contemporary choreographers as Molissa Fenley, Karole Armitage, and Michael Clark. She analyzes the contributions of the Judson Dance Theatre and the Workers' Dance League, the emergence of Latin postmodern dance in New York, and the impact of black jazz in Russia. In addition, Banes explores such untraditional performance modes as breakdancing and the "drunk dancing" of Fred Astaire.

Ebook Edition Note: Ebook edition note: All images have been redacted.

Writing in Motion Cover

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Writing in Motion

Body--Language--Technology

Kenneth King

Kenneth King is one of America's most inventive postmodern choreographers. His dancing has always reflected his interest in language and technology, combining movement with film, machines, lighting and words both spoken and written. King is also conversant in philosophy, and some of his most influential dances have been dedicated to and in dialogue with the work of such philosophers as Susanne K. Langer, Edmund Husserl and Friedrich Nietzsche. Since the 1960s, he has performed his dance to texts both spoken and prerecorded--texts intended to stand separately as literary works.

Writing in Motion spans more than thirty years and is collected here for the first time. It includes essays, performance scripts of King's own work, art criticism, philosophy and cultural commentary. Dense with movement, these writings explode and reconfigure the familiar, crack syntax open, and invent startling new words. Dancing, to King, is "writing in space," and writing is a dance of ideas. Whether referencing Aristotle, Langer, Simone de Beauvoir, MTV, Maurice Blanchot or Marshall McLuhan, King's delightfully lavish prose is very much "in motion."

Zapotecs on the Move Cover

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Zapotecs on the Move

Cultural, Social, and Political Processes in Transnational Prespective

Adriana Cruz-Manjarrez

Through interviews with three generations of Yalálag Zapotecs (“Yaláltecos”) in Los Angeles and Yalálag, Oaxaca, this book examines the impact of international migration on this community. It traces five decades of migration to Los Angeles in order to delineate migration patterns, community formation in Los Angeles, and the emergence of transnational identities of the first and second generations of Yalálag Zapotecs in the United States, exploring why these immigrants and their descendents now think of themselves as Mexican, Mexican Indian immigrants, Oaxaqueños, and Latinos—identities they did not claim in Mexico.

Based on multi-site fieldwork conducted over a five-year period, Adriana Cruz-Manjarrez analyzes how and why Yalálag Zapotec identity and culture have been reconfigured in the United States, using such cultural practices as music, dance, and religious rituals as a lens to bring this dynamic process into focus. By illustrating the sociocultural, economic, and political practices that link immigrants in Los Angeles to those left behind, the book documents how transnational migration has reflected, shaped, and transformed these practices in both their place of origin and immigration.

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