Review Of "Perspectives On American Dance," Volume 1, "The Twentieth Century" And Volume 2, "The New Millennium" Edited By J. Atkins, S. R. Sommer, And T. H. Young

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This two-volume collection includes perspectives on unusual topics and original perspectives on well-known topics in 20th- and 21st-century dance in the US. Atkins, Sommer, and Young (all, Florida State Univ.) are experienced and respected scholars of American dance studies, and the essays they bring together investigate dance as a varied and significant expression of Americanness. Essays in volume 1 examine choreographed works and social dance as frameworks for aesthetic orientations, culture and gender relations, politics, and social movements during the 1900s. Many contributors to volume 1 are senior researchers whose published works have had substantive influence in dance studies. Volume 2 emphasizes voices of younger writers exploring 21st-century concerns. The essays in this volume consider dance in relation to community, impermanence, paradox/doubleness, and space (from site-specific spaces to Internet dances). American dance identities have become more fluid and more politically and socially contested in the new millennium. These younger scholars look at understanding and valuing dancing in relation to inclusion and exclusion of individuals and communities during a time of quick shifts in environments, politics, and technologies. All the essays are accessible and well researched, combining practical and theoretical perspectives on ways that dance shapes the American experience. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty and professionals; general readers.


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