Dancing embodies cultural history and beliefs, and each dance carries with it features of the place where it originated. Influenced by different social, political, and environmental circumstances, dances change and adapt. American dance evolved in large part through combinations of multiple styles and forms that arrived with each new group of immigrants. Perspectives on American Dance is the first anthology in over twenty-five years to focus exclusively on American dance practices across a wide span of American culture. This volume and its companion show how social experience, courtship, sexualities, and other aspects of life in America are translated through dancing into spatial patterns, gestures, and partner relationships. This volume of Perspectives on American Dance features essays by a young generation of authors who write with familiarity about their own era, exploring new parameters of identity and evaluating a wide variety of movement practices being performed in spaces beyond traditional proscenium stages. Topics include "dorky dancing" on YouTube; same-sex competitors on the TV show So You Think You Can Dance; racial politics in NFL touchdown dances; the commercialization of flash mobs; the connections between striptease and corporate branding; how 9/11 affected dance; the criminalization of New York City club dancing; and the joyous ironies of hipster dance. This volume emphasizes how dancing is becoming more social and interactive as technology opens up new ways to create and distribute dance. The accessible essays use a combination of movement analysis, thematic interpretation, and historical context to convey the vitality and variety of American dance. They offer new insights on American dance practices while simultaneously illustrating how dancing functions as an essential template for American culture and identity. Contributors: Jennifer Atkins - Jessica Berson - J. Ellen Gainor - Patsy Gay - Ansley Jones - Kate Mattingly - Hannah Schwadron - Sally Sommer, Ph.D. - Ina Sotirova - Dawn Springer - Michelle T. Summers - Latika L. Young - Tricia Henry Young
The essays in this collection reflect the range and depth of musical life in the United States during the first half of the twentieth century. Contributions consider the rise and triumph of popular forms such as jazz, swing, and blues, as well as the contributions to art music of composers such as Ives, Cage, and Copland, among others. American contributions to music technology and dissemination, and the role of these forms in extending the audience for music, is also a focus.
In Shapes of American Ballet: Teachers and Training before Balanchine, Jessica Zeller introduces the first few decades of the twentieth century as an often overlooked, yet critical period for ballet's growth in America. While George Balanchine is often considered the sole creator of American ballet, numerous European and Russian émigrés had been working for decades to build a national ballet with an American identity. These pedagogues and others like them played critical yet largely unacknowledged roles in American ballet's development. Despite their prestigious ballet pedigrees, the dance field's exhaustive focus on Balanchine has led to the neglect of their work during the first few decades of the century, and in this light, this book offers a new perspective on American ballet during the period immediately prior to Balanchine's arrival. Zeller uses hundreds of rare archival documents to illuminate the pedagogies of several significant European and Russian teachers who worked in New York City. Bringing these contributions into the broader history of American ballet recasts American ballet's identity as diverse-comprised of numerous Euro-Russian and American elements, as opposed to the work of one individual. This new account of early twentieth century American ballet is situated against a bustling New York City backdrop, where mass immigration through Ellis Island brought the ballet from European and Russian opera houses into contact with a variety of American forms and sensibilities. Ballet from celebrated Euro-Russian lineages was performed in vaudeville and blended with American popular dance styles, and it developed new characteristics as it responded to the American economy. Shapes of American Ballet delves into ballet's struggle to define itself during this rich early twentieth century period, and it sheds new light on ballet's development of an American identity before Balanchine.
While blacks have made perhaps their most obvious and substantial contributions to Western popular culture through music and dance, they have developed a rich popular culture in a number of other areas, including the visual arts, mass media, health practices, recreation, and literature. Glimpsed through any medium, black popular culture is the DNA that runs throughout the various kinds of black—and American—artistic achievement and shared experience, helping to identify, explain, and retain Africanisms and the essential blackness that emanate from the everyday lives of black people.
While Impulse was recognized as the platform for dance scholarship during the years of its publication, following its cessation in 1970, only a handful of libraries and collections retained a full complement of its issues. Over time, many upcoming dance scholars were unaware of its rich history and seminal contributions to the field. In 2008 a project was initiated to preserve Impulse as a digital collection and bring together a cohort of dance scholars to analyze each issue from todays point of view. Their collected works are presented in this text. There is no comparable study or project designed to preserve and facilitate access to original source materials in dance at this time. This book stands alone as a compendium of critical analyses of the full roster of a publication dedicated to dance. As eminent authors of the time were invited to contribute to issues of Impulse, contemporary dance scholars were invited to contribute to this book that examines Impulse from todays point of view. This book revisits the journals breadth of commentary, scope of authorship, and provocative yet engaging discourses.
Broadly based and practically oriented, the book will help you develop curriculum for an increasingly multicultural society. The authors-a variety of music educators and ethnomusicologists-provide plans and resources to broaden your students' perspectives on music as an important aspect of culture both within the United States and globally.
Dance Ethnography and Global Perspectives presents the work of dance scholars whose professional fieldwork spans several continents and includes studies of the dance and movement systems of varied global communities.
"Dance writer Joan Cass offers indispensable information on the elements of choreography. In clear language, with examples from both Western and worldwide traditions, Cass highlight and explains the special qualities that mark the best dance creation and performance."--BOOK JACKET.