Moving History/Dancing Cultures: A Dance History Reader

Front Cover
Ann Dils, Ann Cooper Albright
Wesleyan University Press, Oct 19, 2001 - Performing Arts - 544 pages
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.

The reader is organized into four thematic sections which allow for varied and individualized course use: Thinking about Dance History: Theories and Practices, World Dance Traditions, America Dancing, and Contemporary Dance: Global Contexts. The editors have structured the readings with the understanding that contemporary theory has thoroughly questioned the discursive construction of history and the resultant canonization of certain dances, texts and points of view. The historical readings are presented in a way that encourages thoughtful analysis and allows the opportunity for critical engagement with the text.

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Moving history/dancing cultures: a dance history reader

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Albright (dance, Oberlin Coll.; Choreographing Difference: The Body and Identity in Contemporary Dance) and Dils (dance, Univ. of North Carolina) have compiled an eclectic selection of articles on the ... Read full review

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This is a seminal collection of essays that challenges the old guard view of history and dance history, the fruit of a working group on rethinking the teaching of dance history in a postcolonial and postmodern context. The paradigm shift moves us to consider both major and lesser-known dance figures, works and events as well as a large range of dance forms outside of the ballet-modern-postmodern canon. A profound change lies in the emphasis on the ideas that emerge from these phenomena. This must be on the shelf of dancers, dance students, researchers and others who are thinking about the shifting art world. 

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About the author (2001)

ANN DILS is a professor of dance at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and coeditor of Dance, Place, and Identity. ANN COOPER ALBRIGHT is chair of the Dance Department at Oberlin College, coeditor of Taken by Surprise, and author of Choreographing Difference, Traces of Light, and Modern Gestures.

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