Gestural Imaginaries: Dance and Cultural Theory in the Early Twentieth Century - Oxford Studies in Dance Theory (Hardback)
  • Gestural Imaginaries: Dance and Cultural Theory in the Early Twentieth Century - Oxford Studies in Dance Theory (Hardback)
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Gestural Imaginaries: Dance and Cultural Theory in the Early Twentieth Century - Oxford Studies in Dance Theory (Hardback)

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£74.00
Hardback 320 Pages / Published: 18/07/2019
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Gestural Imaginaries: Dance and Cultural Theory in the Early Twentieth Century offers a new interpretation of European modernist dance by addressing it as guiding medium in a vibrant field of gestural culture that ranged across art and philosophy. Taking further Cornelius Castoriadis's concept of the social imaginary, it explores this imaginary's embodied forms. Close readings of dances, photographs, and literary texts are juxtaposed with discussions of gestural theory by thinkers including Walter Benjamin, Sigmund Freud, and Aby Warburg. Choreographic gesture is defined as a force of intermittency that creates a new theoretical status of dance. Author Lucia Ruprecht shows how this also bears on contemporary theory. She shifts emphasis from Giorgio Agamben's preoccupation with gestural mediality to Jacques Ranciere's multiplicity of proliferating, singular gestures, arguing for their ethical and political relevance. Mobilizing dance history and movement analysis, Ruprecht highlights the critical impact of works by choreographers such as Vaslav Nijinsky, Jo Mihaly, and Alexander and Clotilde Sakharoff. She also offers choreographic readings of Franz Kafka and Alfred Doeblin. Gestural Imaginaries proposes that modernist dance conducts a gestural revolution which enacts but also exceeds the insights of past and present cultural theory. It makes a case for archive-based, cross-medial, and critically informed dance studies, transnational German studies, and the theoretical potential of performance itself.

Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
ISBN: 9780190659370
Number of pages: 320
Weight: 644 g
Dimensions: 236 x 162 x 28 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
Exquisitely researched, Ruprecht's study enhances our understanding not only of Nijinsky, Wigman, Kreutzberg, and lesser known choreographers such as Niddy Impekoven and the Sakharoffs, but also the film theorist Bela Balazs and the sociologist Helmuth Plessner, both of whom approached gesture as a magnet for natural expression and its crisis. Ruprecht shows us how the gestural in dance can be seen as simultaneously a symptom of loss and a promise of renewal, an evacuation of meaning and the advent of critique. * Carrie Noland, author of Agency and Embodiment and Merce Cunningham: After the Arbitrary *
In this erudite and beautifully researched study, Ruprecht constructs a dialog between dance as action and philosophical and cultural theory, treating both choreography and textual theory as having equal weight and equal capacity to elucidate a given socio-political moment. Through her visionary pursuit of gesture, as a rupture in the ongoing rhythm of events, Ruprecht adds significantly to our repertoire of methods for analyzing dance and also places it in conversation with broader cultural developments in the early twentieth century. * Susan Leigh Foster, Distinguished Professor, UCLA *
Ruprecht's study of dance and gesture does not just draw on philosophy, principally the writings of Walter Benjamin, it comprises a brilliant study of the medium of dance while simultaneously making a profound contribution to both dance studies and the philosophy of art. This is a work to be celebrated. * Andrew Benjamin, Anniversary Professor of Philosophy and the Humanities, Kingston University *

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