Review Of "Dancing On The Canon: Embodiments Of Value In Popular Dance" By S. Dodds

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Also author of Dance on Screen: Genres and Media from Hollywood to Experimental Art (2001), Dodds (Univ. of Surrey, UK) here contextualizes and challenges the traditionally low value accorded popular social dances within dance scholarship. Grounding her argument in cultural theory, she employs three case studies: neo-burlesque dancing; the dancing of punk, metal, and ska fans; and British Caribbean dance-hall dances. She investigates how popular dances can be produced, understood, and reconstituted in academic writing and how such writing can enrich the communities involved. Dodds considers four socially significant themes: how these particular "imagined" communities address issues of inclusion; the importance of "play" in each community; the "pleasure" or joy that dancing produces; and the "release" offered, through these dancing communities, from daily life and the identities imposed therein. Popular dance forms, she concludes, demonstrate a complex web of aesthetic, economic, political, and social values. Including 19 photographs, useful endnotes, and an extensive bibliography, this book will be a worthwhile resource for those interested in dance, gender and sexuality, and popular culture. Summing Up: Recommended. Graduate students, researchers, faculty, professionals.


This work is freely available courtesy of Choice Reviews. The review has been reproduced in full in the abstract field.

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