Gestural Imaginaries: Dance and Cultural Theory in the Early Twentieth Century

Author:   Lucia Ruprecht (Director of Studies in Modern and Medieval Languages, Director of Studies in Modern and Medieval Languages, Emmanuel College, University of Cambridge)
Publisher:   Oxford University Press Inc
ISBN:  

9780190659387


Pages:   320
Publication Date:   11 July 2019
Format:   Paperback
Availability:   To order   Availability explained
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Gestural Imaginaries: Dance and Cultural Theory in the Early Twentieth Century


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Overview

Gestural Imaginaries: Dance and Cultural Theory in the Early Twentieth Century offers a new interpretation of European modernist dance by addressing it as guiding medium in a vibrant field of gestural culture that ranged across art and philosophy. Taking further Cornelius Castoriadis's concept of the social imaginary, it explores this imaginary's embodied forms. Close readings of dances, photographs, and literary texts are juxtaposed with discussions of gestural theory by thinkers including Walter Benjamin, Sigmund Freud, and Aby Warburg. Choreographic gesture is defined as a force of intermittency that creates a new theoretical status of dance. Author Lucia Ruprecht shows how this also bears on contemporary theory. She shifts emphasis from Giorgio Agamben's preoccupation with gestural mediality to Jacques Ranciere's multiplicity of proliferating, singular gestures, arguing for their ethical and political relevance. Mobilizing dance history and movement analysis, Ruprecht highlights the critical impact of works by choreographers such as Vaslav Nijinsky, Jo Mihaly, and Alexander and Clotilde Sakharoff. She also offers choreographic readings of Franz Kafka and Alfred Doeblin. Gestural Imaginaries proposes that modernist dance conducts a gestural revolution which enacts but also exceeds the insights of past and present cultural theory. It makes a case for archive-based, cross-medial, and critically informed dance studies, transnational German studies, and the theoretical potential of performance itself.

Full Product Details

Author:   Lucia Ruprecht (Director of Studies in Modern and Medieval Languages, Director of Studies in Modern and Medieval Languages, Emmanuel College, University of Cambridge)
Publisher:   Oxford University Press Inc
Imprint:   Oxford University Press Inc
Dimensions:   Width: 15.50cm , Height: 2.20cm , Length: 23.40cm
Weight:   0.614kg
ISBN:  

9780190659387


ISBN 10:   0190659386
Pages:   320
Publication Date:   11 July 2019
Audience:   Professional and scholarly ,  Professional & Vocational
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active
Availability:   To order   Availability explained
Stock availability from the supplier is unknown. We will order it for you and ship this item to you once it is received by us.

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Reviews

Ruprecht's study of dance and gesture does not just draw on philosophy, principally the writings of Walter Benjamin, it comprises a brilliant study of the medium of dance while simultaneously making a profound contribution to both dance studies and the philosophy of art. This is a work to be celebrated. * Andrew Benjamin, Anniversary Professor of Philosophy and the Humanities, Kingston University * In this erudite and beautifully researched study, Ruprecht constructs a dialog between dance as action and philosophical and cultural theory, treating both choreography and textual theory as having equal weight and equal capacity to elucidate a given socio-political moment. Through her visionary pursuit of gesture, as a rupture in the ongoing rhythm of events, Ruprecht adds significantly to our repertoire of methods for analyzing dance and also places it in conversation with broader cultural developments in the early twentieth century. * Susan Leigh Foster, Distinguished Professor, UCLA * Exquisitely researched, Ruprecht's study enhances our understanding not only of Nijinsky, Wigman, Kreutzberg, and lesser known choreographers such as Niddy Impekoven and the Sakharoffs, but also the film theorist Bela Balazs and the sociologist Helmuth Plessner, both of whom approached gesture as a magnet for natural expression and its crisis. Ruprecht shows us how the gestural in dance can be seen as simultaneously a symptom of loss and a promise of renewal, an evacuation of meaning and the advent of critique. * Carrie Noland, author of Agency and Embodiment and Merce Cunningham: After the Arbitrary *


Author Information

Lucia Ruprecht is a Fellow of Emmanuel College and an affiliated Lecturer in the Department of German and Dutch, University of Cambridge, UK. She studied German and French literature at Universities in Germany, France, and the UK. She has been an Alexander von Humboldt Fellow at the Institute of Theater Studies, Free University Berlin, and the inaugural Visiting Research Scholar at Boyer College of Music and Dance, Temple University, Philadelphia. She works at the intersection of dance, film, literature, and cultural theory from the enlightenment to the contemporary.

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