Review Of "Dancing Desires: Choreographing Sexualities On And Off The Stage" Edited By J. C. Desmond

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Written by academics from Australia, England, France, and North America, the 16 essays in this compilation investigate how the reading of dance history shifts when, as the editor writes, "issues of sexuality and sexual identity become central." Desmond's introduction suggests one frame for contextualization and offers numerous guiding questions. This book ably extends one aspect of an earlier anthology edited by Desmond, Meaning in Motion: New Cultural Studies of Dance (1997). Both works significantly contribute to discourse in dance studies. The writers in the present book discuss a variety of social and theatrical dance styles and apply several theoretical lenses. Viewpoints and writing styles vary considerably, from the dense and jargon-laden to the sparse and poetic. Of particular import are noted theorist Susan Leigh Foster's provocative essay "Closets Full of Dances: Modern Dance's Performance of Masculinity and Sexuality" and David Gere's chapter on choreographer Joe Goode and effeminacy, written to be performed. A final section incorporates a critique of some of the articles, providing a welcome reflexivity. Appropriate for graduate students, researchers, and professionals in dance, performance studies, and sexuality studies, this book also includes some entries that will be useful for general and undergraduate readers with a serious avocational interest.


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

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