The Oxford Handbook of Dance and Politics

ISBN : 9780190052966

Rebekah J. Kowal; Gerald Siegmund; Randy Martin
652 Pages
170 x 244 mm
Pub date
Sep 2019
Oxford Handbooks
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  • Includes a wide range of perspectives from a global body of scholars
  • Expands discussion on the intersection of dance and politics
  • Provides new research on innovative methodological and rhetorical modes of study

In recent decades, dance has become a vehicle for querying assumptions about what it means to be embodied, in turn illuminating intersections among the political, the social, the aesthetical, and the phenomenological. The Oxford Handbook of Dance and Politicsedited by internationally lauded scholars Rebekah Kowal, Gerald Siegmund, and the late Randy Martin presents a compendium of newly-commissioned chapters that address the interdisciplinary and global scope of dance theory - its political philosophy, social movements, and approaches to bodily difference such as disability, postcolonial, and critical race and queer studies. In six sections 30 of the most prestigious dance scholars in the US and Europe track the political economy of dance and analyze the political dimensions of choreography, of writing history, and of embodied phenomena in general. Employing years of intimate knowledge of dance and its cultural phenomenology, scholars urge readers to re-think dominant cultural codes, their usages, and the meaning they produce and theorize ways dance may help to re-signify and to re-negotiate established cultural practices and their inherent power relations. This handbook poses ever-present questions about dance politics-which aspects or effects of a dance can be considered political? What possibilities and understandings of politics are disclosed through dance? How does a particular dance articulate or undermine forces of authority? How might dance relate to emancipation or bondage of the body? Where and how can dance articulate social movements, represent or challenge political institutions, or offer insight into habits of labor and leisure? The handbook opens its critical terms in two directions. First, it offers an elaborated understanding of how dance achieves its politics. Second, it illustrates how notions of the political are themselves expanded when viewed from the perspective of dance, thus addressing both the relationship between the politics in dance and the politics of dance. Using the most sophisticated theoretical frameworks and engaging with the problematics that come from philosophy, social science, history, and the humanities, chapters explore the affinities, affiliations, concepts, and critiques that are inherent in the act of dance, and questions about matters political that dance makes legible.


1. Introduction to the Oxford Handbook of Dance and Politics - Rebekah J. Kowal, Gerald Siegmund, and Randy Martin
Part I: Dancing Structures
Section I. The Political Economy of Dance
2. Tracking the Political Economy of Dance - Jane Desmond
3. Dance and/as Competition in the U.S. Privately Owned Studio - Susan Foster
4. Racing in Place: A Meta-Memoir on Dance,
Politics, and Practice - Brenda Dixon Gottschild
5. Epiphanic Moments: Dancing Politics - Cynthia Oliver
6. Performing Collectively, Performing Collectivity - Kai van Eikels
Section II. The Politics of Choreography
7. Urban Choreographies. Artistic Interventions and the Politics of Urban Space - Gabriele Klein
8. The Politics of Speculative Imagination in
Contemporary Choreography - Andre Lepecki
9. Toward a Choreo-Political Theory of Articulation - Mark Franko
10. Rehearsing In-Difference: The Politics of Aesthetics in
the Performances of Pina Bausch and Jérôme Bel - Gerald Siegmund
11. Problem as a Choreographic and Philosophical Kind of
Thought - Bojana Cvejic
Section III. The Politics of Embodiment
12. The Politics of Perception - Ann Cooper Albright
13. The Politics of Speaking About the Body - Ramsay Burt
14. Dancing Disabled: Phenomenology and Embodied
Politics - Petra Kuppers
15. Of Corporeal Re-writings, Translations, and the
Politics of Difference in Dancing - Ananya Chatterjea
16. Planning for Death's Surprise: Pina Bausch and Merce Cunningham - Peggy Phelan
Part 2: Dancing Interventions
Section IV. The Politics of Histories
17. Dancing D-Day - Felicia McCarren
18. China in the Throes of Modernization: Intercultural Exchange,
Hybridity, and ArtsCross - Alexandra Kolb
19. Between the Cultural Center and the Villa: Dance,
Neoliberalism & Silent Borders in Buenos Aires - Victoria Fortuna
20. Modern Dance in the Third Reich, Redux - Susan Manning
21. The of Exchange: Rethinking Exile and Otherness
after the Nation - Kate Elswit
Section V. The Politics of Re-Signification
22. Black Swan, White Nose - Hannah Schwadron
23. Brown in Black and White: José Limón Dances The
Emperor Jones - James Moreno
24. SWITCH: Queer Social Dance, Political Leadership,
and Black Popular Culture - Thomas DeFrantz
25. Politics of Fake It! Janez Jansa interviewed by Janez Jansa - Janez Jansa
Section VI. The Politics of Re-Negotiation
26. Identity Politics and Political Will: Jeni LeGon
Living in a Great Big Way - Nadine George-Graves
27. Dancing in the Here and Now: Indigenous
Presence and the Contemporary Choreography of Emily
Johnson/Catalyst and DANCING EARTH - Jacqueline Shea Murphy
28. Dance and Eastern Europe: Contemporary Dance in the Time of Transition - Bojana Kunst
29. Domesticating Dance: South Asian Filmic Bodies
Negotiating New Moves in Neoliberalism - Priya Srinivasan
30. Is it OK Dance on Graves? Modernism and Socialist
Realism Revisited - Jens Giersdorf

About the author: 

Edited by Rebekah Kowal, Associate Professor of Dance, The University of Iowa, Edited by Gerald Siegmund, Professor of Applied Theatre Studies, University of Giessen, and Edited by Randy Martin, Professor of Art and Public Policy, New York University
Rebekah Kowal is Associate Professor of Dance at The University of Iowa where she teaches courses in dance history and theory. Her first book, How to Do Things with Dance: Performing Change in Postwar America (Wesleyan University Press, 2010) investigates how moving bodies are compelling agents of social, cultural and political change. Her current project assesses the impact of postwar global dance performance on American concert dance formations and in the context of U.S. foreign relations, immigration and trade policies, and the politics of race, ethnicity, and citizenship.
Gerald Siegmund is Professor of Applied Theatre Studies at the University of Giessen, Germany where he teaches courses in theatre and dance history, theory, and aesthetics. He has published widely on contemporary dance and theatre. Amongst his publications are William Forsythe - Denken in Bewegung (Henschel Verlag, 2004) and Dance, Politics, and Co-Immunity(together with Stefan Hölscher, Diaphanes 2013).
Randy Martin (1957-2015) was Professor of Art and Public Policy at New York University and founder of the graduate program in arts politics. He published many books as author or editor, including The Financialization of Daily Life and Under New Management: Universities, Administrative Labor and the Professional Turn; An Empire of Indifference; Critical Moves and On Your Marx. An edited volume is forthcoming from the University of Chicago Press: Derivatives and the Wealth of Societies, with Benjamin Lee.

Jane Desmond
Susan Foster
Brenda Dixon Gottschild
Cynthia Oliver 
Kai van Eikels
Gabriele Klein 
Andre Lepecki
Mark Franko
Gerald Siegmund
Bojana Cvejic
Ann Cooper Albright
Ramsay Burt
Petra Kuppers
Ananya Chatterjea
Peggy Phelan
Felicia McCarren
Alexandra Kolb
Victoria Fortuna
Susan Manning
Kate Elswit
Hannah Schwadron
James Moreno
Thomas DeFrantz
Janez Jansa
Jeni LeGon 
Nadine George-Graves
Jacqueline Shea Murphy
Bojana Kunst
Priya Srinivasan
Jens Giersdorf

Winner of an honorable mention for the Biennial Sally Banes Publication Prize by the American Society for Theatre Research

"This book will be useful to those interested in penetrating the physical existence of dance to investigate its significance as a human practice that is political by its very nature." - E. McPherson, Montclair State University, Choice

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