Publication date:

24 December 2013

Length of book:

264 pages


Lexington Books

ISBN-13: 9780739171844

This volume provides a theoretical and practical examination of the relationships between bodies, dance and space. Using ten case studies, it illustrates the symbolic power of dance that is crafted by choreographers and acted out by dancers. The book portrays a multitude of ways in which public and private spaces (stages, buildings, town squares as well as natural environments) are transformed and made meaningful by dance. Furthermore, it explores the meaning of dance as emotionally experienced by dancers, and examines how movement in certain spaces creates meaning without the use of words or symbols.
The first of two proposed volumes edited by Pine and Kuhlke, this collection explores how space and place, identity and cultural diversity create embodied dance as individuals and groups negotiate the complexities of modern life. Chapter topics illustrate that people in the varied environments and sites find meaning and community through dance in different ways than one usually employs when viewing and writing about dance and dancers. Included are essays on Israeli-Jewish women's interest in belly dancing as a way to connect physicality with feminine emotions; the experiences of exotic dancers in popular strip clubs in a large city where neighborhood placement conflicts affect their ability to make a living; the evolution of jazz in Capetown, South Africa, from the 1940s swing styles and jazz era to the more current influences of hip-hop, tango, and salsa; and the work of four Toronto choreographers trained in Bharata Natyam Indian dance as they incorporate more contemporary forms to expand their cultural identities. This interdisciplinary collection offers a unique perspective on the broad role of dance in global cultures. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty and professionals; general readers.