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Writing Dancing in the Age of Postmodernism
Sally Banes

1994 • 428 pp. 20 illus. 20 figs. 6 x 9"
Dance / Theater & Performing Arts

$35.00 Paperback, 978-0-8195-6268-5
$27.99 Ebook, 978-0-8195-7181-6

Check your ebook retailer or local library for ebook availability.

A leading critic traces three decades of contemporary dance from Balanchine to breakdancing

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.

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Reviews / Endorsements

“Impressively rich and varied . . . A very important addition to the literature of the field for graduate students in dance history, performance art history, post-modern culture and for interested undergraduates doing research in these areas.” —Janice Ross, Stanford University

“Sally Banes has followed the development of postmodern dance more thoroughly than anyone. She is the person to analyze the nature and significance of this important movement”—Selma Jeanne Cohen

SALLY BANES is Professor of Theatre and Drama and Chair of the Dance Program at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. She has served as editor of Dance Research Journal and as a senior critic at Dance Magazine, and has published essays in numerous periodicals, including the Village Voice. Terpsichore in Sneakers: Post-Modern Dance (Wesleyan paperback, 1987) was the first exploration of postmodern dance.

Tue, 15 May 2018 13:00:01 -0500