Social Choreography: Ideology as Performance in Dance and Everyday Movement

Duke University Press
Free sample

Through the concept of “social choreography” Andrew Hewitt demonstrates how choreography has served not only as metaphor for modernity but also as a structuring blueprint for thinking about and shaping modern social organization. Bringing dance history and critical theory together, he shows that ideology needs to be understood as something embodied and practiced, not just as an abstract form of consciousness. Linking dance and the aesthetics of everyday movement—such as walking, stumbling, and laughter—to historical ideals of social order, he provides a powerful exposition of Marxist debates about the relation of ideology and aesthetics.

Hewitt focuses on the period between the mid-nineteenth century and the early twentieth and considers dancers and social theorists in Germany, Britain, France, and the United States. Analyzing the arguments of writers including Friedrich Schiller, Theodor Adorno, Hans Brandenburg, Ernst Bloch, and Siegfried Kracauer, he reveals in their thinking about the movement of bodies a shift from an understanding of play as the condition of human freedom to one prioritizing labor as either the realization or alienation of embodied human potential. Whether considering understandings of the Charleston, Isadora Duncan, Nijinsky, or the famous British chorus line the Tiller Girls, Hewitt foregrounds gender as he uses dance and everyday movement to rethink the relationship of aesthetics and social order.

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About the author

Andrew Hewitt is Professor of Germanic Languages and Comparative Literature at the University of California, Los Angeles. He is the author of Political Inversions: Homosexuality, Fascism, and the Modernist Imaginary and Fascist Modernism: Aesthetics, Politics, and the Avant-Garde.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Duke University Press
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Published on
Apr 8, 2005
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Pages
261
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ISBN
9780822386582
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Best For
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Language
English
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Genres
Art / General
Performing Arts / Dance / General
Social Science / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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In Choreography Observed, Jack Anderson has selected writings that focus most directly on choreographers and choreography in order to illuminate the delights and problems of dance and to reveal the nature of this nonverbal but intensely expressive art form.

His essays and reviews deal with individual choreographers from Bournonville, Petipa, and Fokine to Balanchine, Paul Taylor, Meredith Monk, and Pina Bausch; individual works are also discussed in detail, such as Nijinsky's Afternoon of a Faun,Antony Tudor's Pillar of Fire, Alvin Ailey's Flowers, and Kei Takei's Light. Other pieces focus on the Baroque dance revival, contemporary multimedia dance theatre, choreography for men, the complex relationship between ballet and modern dance, and how—and how not—to revive the classics.

No other book—especially no other selection from the work of a single critic—has dealt with choreography in such an original and focused way. Anderson brings his trained eye and wide experience in the arts to bear on dance while stressing the primacy of the choreographer as auteur. By refusing to get bogged down in highly technical terminology, he makes his insights available to a wide range of readers interested in expanding their understanding of this ever more popular art form.
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This new collection of essays surveys the history of dance in an innovative and wide-ranging fashion. Editors Dils and Albright address the current dearth of comprehensive teaching material in the dance history field through the creation of a multifaceted, non-linear, yet well-structured and comprehensive survey of select moments in the development of both American and World dance. This book is illustrated with over 50 photographs, and would make an ideal text for undergraduate classes in dance ethnography, criticism or appreciation, as well as dance history—particularly those with a cross-cultural, contemporary, or an American focus.

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Ebook Edition Note: Ebook edition note: Five essays have been redacted, including “The Belly Dance: Ancient Ritual to Cabaret Performance,” by Shawna Helland; “Epitome of Korean Folk Dance”, by Lee Kyong-Hee; “Juba and American Minstrelsy,” by Marian Hannah Winter; “The Natural Body,” by Ann Daly; and “Butoh: ‘Twenty Years Ago We Were Crazy, Dirty, and Mad’,”by Bonnie Sue Stein. Eleven of the 41 illustrations in the book have also been redacted.
Creative Dance for All Ages, Second Edition, has had a long history of providing a dance curriculum to teachers and students preparing to teach creative dance. Author Anne Gilbert demystifies expectations when teaching creative dance and provides the theory, methods, and lesson ideas for success in a variety of settings and with students of all ages. This one-stop resource offers dance teachers everything they need, including a sequential curriculum, lesson plans, instructional strategies, assessment, and other forms. It’s like having a seasoned dance teacher at your side offering inspiration and guidance all year long.

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