The Oxford Handbook of Dance and Theater
Oxford University Press (2015)
Winner of Honorable Mention for the Biennial Sally Banes Publication Award
from the American Society for Theatre Research!
The Oxford Handbook of Dance and Theater collects a critical mass of border-crossing scholarship on the intersections of dance and theatre. Taking corporeality as an idea that unites the work of dance and theater scholars and artists, and embodiment as a negotiation of power dynamics with important stakes, these essays focus on the politics and poetics of the moving body in performance both on and off stage.
Contemporary stage performances have sparked global interest in new experiments between dance and theater, and this volume situates this interest in its historical context by extensively investigating other such moments: from pagan mimes of late antiquity to early modern archives to Bolshevik Russia to post-Sandinista Nicaragua to Chinese opera on the international stage, to contemporary flash mobs and television dance contests. Ideologically, the essays investigate critical race theory, affect theory, cognitive science, historiography, dance dramaturgy, spatiality, gender, somatics, ritual, and biopolitics among other modes of inquiry. In terms of aesthetics, they examine many genres such as musical theater, contemporary dance, improvisation, experimental theater, television, African total theater, modern dance, new Indian dance theater aesthetics, philanthroproductions, Butoh, carnival, equestrian performance, tanztheater, Korean Talchum, Nazi Movement Choirs, Lindy Hop, Bomba, Caroline Masques, political demonstrations, and Hip Hop.
The volume includes innovative essays from both young and seasoned scholars and scholar/practitioners who are working at the cutting edges of their fields. The handbook brings together essays that offer new insight into well-studied areas, challenge current knowledge, attend to neglected practices or moments in time, and that identify emergent themes. The overall result is a better understanding of the roles of dance and theater in the performative production of meaning.