By Ann Cooper Albright

The choreographies of invoice T. Jones, Cleveland Ballet Dancing Wheels, Zab Maboungou, David Dorfman, Marie Chouinard, Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, and others, have helped determine dance as an important discourse of the 90s. those dancers, Ann Cooper Albright argues, are asking the viewers to determine the physique as a resource of cultural id -- a actual presence that strikes with and during its gendered, racial, and social meanings.Through her articulate and nuanced research of up to date choreography, Albright exhibits how the dancing physique shifts conventions of illustration and offers a severe instance of the dialectical courting among cultures and the our bodies that inhabit them. As a dancer, feminist, and thinker, Albright turns to the cloth event of our bodies, not only the physique as a determine or metaphor, to appreciate how cultural illustration turns into embedded within the physique. In arguing for the intelligence of our bodies, Choreographing distinction is itself a testimonial, giving voice to a few very important political, ethical, and creative questions of our time.

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Extra resources for Choreographing Difference: The Body and Identity in Contemporary Dance

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Growing up female and a feminist has convinced me of what so many other feminists have taken pains to analyze, namely that a network of social ideologies imbues the body in Western culture with abhst, racist, classist, sexist, and often just downright repressive ideals. On the other hand, being involved with contemporary dance as both a dancer and a critic for the last fifteen years has convinced me that bodies, while inscribed by social practices, are rarely passive receptacles of these structures.

Kolodny's essay summarized several ways in which feminist theory was attempting to dismantle the ideologies embedded within the production and consumption of cultural knowledges. Although her discipline is literary studies, Kolodny's three statements reflect a broader shift in feminist inquiry from discussing visual and textual images of women as empirical, historical data, to unraveling the complex net- 2 C H O R E O G R A P H I N G D I F F E R E N C E work of representation and identity in the making and receiving (reading) of these images.

Simultaneously registering, creating, and subverting cultural conventions, embodied experience is necessarily complex and messy. That is precisely what I find so exciting about contemporary dance. It is my project here to articulate how culture is embedded in experiences of the body and how the body is implicated in our notions of identity. As a representational system concentrated in the live body, contemporary dance can help us trace this interconnectedncss of bodies and identities by foregrounding the cultural significance of somatic experience.

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