The choreography of the pedestrian

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Dempster, Elizabeth (2008) The choreography of the pedestrian. Performance Research, 13 (1). pp. 23-28. ISSN 1352-8165


In dance, as in other fields of artistic practice, the narrative of a progressive modernism exhausts itself or runs aground in the early 1960s. For dance historian Susan Manning it was the Judson Dance Theater that signalled a moment of crisis; Judson marked the end point of a period of sustained formal experimentation and also of the legitimating narratives that had once supported American dance modernism (Manning 1993: 23). In this period a number of strategies directed towards dissolution of the constitutive binaries (of form and content, art and life) of modernist aesthetic ideology were vigorously explored. The insertion of the ‘non-aesthetic’ in the form of ordinary movement and untrained performers was one such strategy. I am revisiting this period of radical dance practice because I believe the provocation it offers has not been exhausted. Indeed the familiar dance historical ways of telling the story of this period of dance experimentation elides some of its most radical implications for dance and choreographic practice today.

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Item type Article
DOI 10.1080/13528160802465458
Official URL
Subjects Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Communication and the Arts
Historical > FOR Classification > 1904 Performing Arts and Creative Writing
Historical > SEO Classification > 970119 Expanding Knowledge through Studies of the Creative Arts and Writing
Keywords ResPubID15589. choreography, dance theater, dance modernism, modernist aesthetic ideology, radical dance practice, pedestrian aesthetic, pedestrian movement
Citations in Scopus 7 - View on Scopus
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