Choreographing Difference: The Body and Identity in Contemporary Dance

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The choreographies of Bill T. Jones, Cleveland Ballet Dancing Wheels, Zab Maboungou, David Dorfman, Marie Chouinard, Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, and others, have helped establish dance as a crucial discourse of the 90s. These dancers, Ann Cooper Albright argues, are asking the audience to see the body as a source of cultural identity — a physical presence that moves with and through its gendered, racial, and social meanings.

Through her articulate and nuanced analysis of contemporary choreography, Albright shows how the dancing body shifts conventions of representation and provides a critical example of the dialectical relationship between cultures and the bodies that inhabit them. As a dancer, feminist, and philosopher, Albright turns to the material experience of bodies, not just the body as a figure or metaphor, to understand how cultural representation becomes embedded in the body. In arguing for the intelligence of bodies, Choreographing Difference is itself a testimonial, giving voice to some important political, moral, and artistic questions of our time.

Product Details

  • Series: Studies. Engineering Dynamics Series;9
  • Paperback: 244 pages
  • Publisher: Wesleyan; 1st edition (September 15, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0819563218
  • ISBN-13: 978-0819563217
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces

Customer Reviews

great book

6 people found this helpful.
 on November 19, 2000
By Jennifer
An essential read for the socially concerned dance lover. This book navigates a tricky path that follows the dancing body through subjectivism and objectivism, and the identities that it cannot escape. Albright delicately manages to show how lines of gender, race, form, ability and other identities can be created and crossed by dances and the bodies that dance them. Recommended to choreographers, dancers, dance watchers and anyone who is interested in social constructs of identity.

A soul touching journey

5 people found this helpful.
 on June 19, 2000
By Celeste
I felt some type of connection to this book as I passed it in the shop. I have been a dance teacher for 13 years, and I have never thought to use dance as Ms. Albright has. Her section on Sex in Dance got many more students to join my class. Ms. Albright is an amazing author and some day I wish to see her dance. Her ideas are on dance are brilliant and artistic. This book has changed my life as a person, artist, but mostly as a dancer.

Choreographing Difference

 on August 10, 2013
By Lee
I truly love this book that teaches one how to go about the art of choreography including those using wheelchairs! This book makes choreographers and dancers aware of how to train and prepare for routines that are built around dancers who are “different” in other ways, as well. It is an important addition to the curriculum of dance study and of those seeking to teach dance or to teach in special education, where dance can be a form of therapy and skill development.

interesting, helpful!

 on May 19, 2013
By Olivia O
recommended to all of those dance researches.. specially good for dance majors enrolled in an university as undergrads or teachers/choreographers that are looking for notes that question dance parameters.

Four Stars

 on November 28, 2014
By mopo
great book

this book touched my soul!

One person found this helpful.
 on June 25, 2000
this was a very beautiful book, ms. Cooper is a fantastic writer

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