Literary critics often pursue analyses of music or painting and literature as 'sister arts', yet this is the first full-length study of the treatment of social dance in literature. A vital part of social life and courtship with its own symbolism, dance in the nineteenth century was a natural point of interest for novelists writing about these topics; and indeed ballroom scenes could themselves be used to further courtship narratives or illustrate other significant encounters. Including analyses of works by Jane Austen, W. M. Thackeray, George Eliot, and Anthony Trollope, as well as extensive material from nineteenth-century dance manuals, Cheryl A. Wilson shows how dance provided a vehicle through which writers could convey social commentary and cultural critique on issues such as gender, social mobility, and nationalism.
Animals from around the globe have gathered for a dance contest in the famous Tower Ballroom in Birmingham. Who will win? Camels dancing the conga? Flamingos dancing flamenco? Or penguins doing the polka? And what are those mischievous monkeys up to?
This book contains readings of American, British and European postmodern dances informed by feminist, postcolonialist, queer, and poststructuralist theories. It explores the roles dance and space play in constructing subjectivity. By focusing on site-specific dance, the mutual construction of bodies and spaces, body-space interfaces and "in-between spaces," the dances and dance films are read "against the grain" to reveal their potential for troubling conventional notions of subjectivity associated with a white, Western, heterosexual able-bodied, male norm.
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