Decentring Dancing Texts: The Challenge of Interpreting by J. Lansdale

By J. Lansdale

11 authors examine fresh dance practices within the theatre, in membership tradition and on movie, addressing dance in interdisciplinary courting with song, portray and play texts. this article makes an attempt to fill a spot with an updated account of interesting and difficult new paintings, illuminated by means of fascinating new theoretical frameworks.

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Additional resources for Decentring Dancing Texts: The Challenge of Interpreting Dances

Sample text

I apply this frame to three of Jeyasingh’s choreographies: Romance … with Footnotes (1993), Phantasmaton (2002) and Exit No Exit (2006). Shobana Jeyasingh, aesthetic categories and dance forms Before this, I delineate categories in order to position Jeyasingh’s work and indicate the extent to which the classical dance form bharata natyam is itself in transition. The term ‘traditional’ suggests an unbroken, handeddown heritage while ‘classical’ denotes an adherence to a set of defined principles.

In fact, neither dance nor any type of performance can make special claims, for all of the past is retrievable only in the evidence that remains. As Jenkins (1991, p. 11) claims, ‘as the past has gone, no account can ever be checked against it but only against other accounts … there is no fundamentally correct “text” of which other interpretations are just variations; variations are all there are’. Therefore, because ‘the past itself is beyond reach, the historian is always reading the shadowy remains, the images on the cave wall’ (Postlewait, 1992, p.

They are valid as one kind of perception, one ‘view’ in an actual as well as interpretative sense. There were some writers who found the work successful. Mary Clarke’s (1992) opinion that it was ‘a tremendously powerful piece of theatre, entirely of our time’ was an unusual response not only from a female critic but also one a generation older than most of the writers cited above. Similarly, in 2003, Lucy Wells thought the work ‘a shadowy, sober masterpiece’. Most interestingly, the judges of the 1993 Olivier The Judas Tree 33 Award voted it the Best New Dance Production in 1992, a case of a quasi-institutional response going against the grain of the judgements of the majority of individual critics.

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