Edited by Andre Lepecki. MIT, $24.95 trade paper (240p) ISBN 978-0-262-51777-5
In her new collection, NYU associate professor of performance studies Lepecki begins by noting that while dance has consolidated its themes and forms with other art forms, it remains overlooked in critical and theoretical art discourse. Lepecki captures international texts from the early 1950s through 2011, written by dancers, choreographers, and their collaborators, to explore the evolution and concerns of contemporary dance. Although much thematic overlap exists in the content, the documents are organized into five sections, to focus on choreographic shifts, movement theorizing, practices of embodiment, chorepolitics, and context and score. Conversations with groundbreaking artists, such as Pina Bausch, Bill T. Jones, and Eiko & Koma, reveal insights into individual process, and are collected along with tersely written damce scemarops and commentary. Short essays, from choreographers including William Forsythe and Boris Charmatz, question the very semantics referenced throughout the text ("Choreography is a curious and deceptive term," writes Forsythe). This variation in approach from humorous and cynical to conceptual and righteousand abstract, strengthens the collection. As he states in the introduction, Lepecki is trying to diminish misperceptions of dance and dance-makers "as non-verbal artists creating a supposedly ‘visceral' art whose sole purpose is to move gracefully, flawlessly, to the sound of music.." His editorial choices help both to ground and to elevate the dialogue. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 10/15/2012
Release date: 08/01/2012
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