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?
Rebel Dance, Renegade Stance shows how community music-makers and dancers take in all that is around them socially and globally, and publicly and bodily unfold their memories, sentiments, and raw responses within open spaces designated or commandeered for local popular dance. Umi Vaughan, an African American anthropologist, musician, dancer, and photographer "plantao" in Cuba-planted, living like a Cuban-reveals a rarely discussed perspective on contemporary Cuban society during the 1990s, the peak decade of timba, and beyond, as the Cuban leadership transferred from Fidel Castro to his brother. Simultaneously, the book reveals popular dance music in the context of a young and astutely educated Cuban generation of fierce and creative performers.
By looking at the experiences of black Cubans and exploring the notion of "Afro Cuba,"Rebel Dance, Renegade Stance explains timba's evolution and achieved significance in the larger context of Cuban culture. Vaughan discusses a maroon aesthetic extended beyond the colonial era to the context of contemporary society; describes the dance spaces of Cuba; and examines the performance of identity and desire through the character of the "especulador." This book will find an audience with musicians, anthropologists, ethnomusicologists, interdisciplinary specialists in performance studies, cultural studies, and Latin American and Caribbean studies, as well as laypeople who are interested in Atlantic/African and African American/Africana studies and/or Cuban culture.
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