Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The Politics of the Dancer: Voice, Labor and Immanent Critique
by Daunic, Nicole Lorriane, Ph.D., New York University, 2018, 532; 10842659
Abstract (Summary)

Discursive frameworks of dance grounded in Western patriarchal modernist aesthetics and phallocentric theoretical lineages have consistently privileged the role of choreographers such that the labor, knowledge production, and perspectives of dancers have received little attention in dance scholarship. This dissertation considers the modes of being, thought, and critique that become articulable when the labor of dancers is acknowledged. Chapter One examines connections between the feminization of the role of the dancer and the devaluation of her labor and knowledge production and considers theoretical methodologies which might facilitate the inclusion of dancer’s knowledge, labor, and voice in dance and performance scholarship. Chapter Two considers how the labor of the dancer in U.S. Western dance practices since the 1930s has continually transformed alongside shifts in economic modes of production in order to trace this entwinement within the scope of dancers’ research, knowledge production and critical capacities. Chapter Three relies on interviews with nine dancers to explore the entanglement of contemporary freelance dancers’ labor with post-Fordist labor values as well as their experiences of agency, freedom, representation and labor within neoliberal capitalism’s modes of production. Chapter Four employs personal testimony of the dancer-scholar in order to consider the politics of the dancer within the site of Deborah Hay's Blues (2012). Through an exploration of these sites, I argue that dance and performance scholarship would benefit from the rich knowledge and insight afforded through the voices and praxis of dancers.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Lepecki, André T.
Commitee: Browning, Barbara, Kapchan, Deborah
School: New York University
Department: Performance Studies
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: DAI-A 80/03(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Dance, Performing Arts
Keywords: Dance, Dancer, Labor, Micropolitics, Neoliberalism, Politics
Publication Number: 10842659
ISBN: 978-0-438-63399-5
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