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November 28, 1997
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v2.1 Reference
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v2.1 Reference

Choreographing Difference

The Body and Identity in Contemporary Dance

Feminist theory illuminates the radical cultural work of contemporary dance.

The choreographies of Bill T. Jones, Cleveland Ballet Dancing Wheels, Zab Maboungou, David Dorfman, Marie Chouinard, Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, and others, have helped establish dance as a crucial discourse of the 90s. These dancers, Ann Cooper Albright argues, are asking the audience to see the body as a source of cultural identity — a physical presence that moves with and through its gendered, racial, and social meanings.

Through her articulate and nuanced analysis of contemporary choreography, Albright shows how the dancing body shifts conventions of representation and provides a critical example of the dialectical relationship between cultures and the bodies that inhabit them. As a dancer, feminist, and philosopher, Albright turns to the material experience of bodies, not just the body as a figure or metaphor, to understand how cultural representation becomes embedded in the body. In arguing for the intelligence of bodies, Choreographing Difference is itself a testimonial, giving voice to some important political, moral, and artistic questions of our time.

About the Author

ANN COOPER ALBRIGHT is chair of the Dance Department at Oberlin College. She is the author of Choreographing Difference, Traces of Light, and Modern Gestures, and coeditor of Moving History/Dancing Cultures and Taken by Surprise.


"Albright brings the insights of contemporary critical theory, particularly feminist theory, to bear on dance studies with great theoretical clarity, scholarly rigor, and writerly panache."—Susan Manning

"A clear, cogent, sophisticated in-depth analysis of recent dances concerned with issues of gender, ethnic, and racial identity, by a theorist whose own dance experience gives her special insight into the choreographic process of making meaning.—"—Sally Banes


9780819563217 : choreographing-difference-albright
Paperback / softback
244 Pages
$22.95 USD
9780819569912 : choreographing-difference-albright
Electronic book text
244 Pages
$17.99 USD

Other Titles by Ann Cooper Albright

Engaging Bodies

Ann Cooper Albright
Dec 2013 - Wesleyan University Press
$29.95 USD - Paperback / softback
$23.99 USD - Electronic book text

Modern Gestures

Ann Cooper Albright
Nov 2010 - Wesleyan University Press
$29.95 USD - Hardback

Traces of Light

Ann Cooper Albright
Sep 2007 - Wesleyan University Press
$75.00 USD - Hardback
$27.95 USD - Paperback / softback

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Liz Lerman
Aug 2021 - Wesleyan University Press
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The Cultural Work

Corinna Campbell
Jun 2020 - Wesleyan University Press
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Moving Bodies, Navigating Conflict

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