Dancing Desires: Choreographing Sexualities on and off the Stage

Edited by Jane C. Desmond

book cover portraitThis collection of essays explores the relationship between dancing bodies and sexual identity on the concert stage, in nightclubs, in film, in the courts, and on the streets. From Nijinsky's balletic prowess to Charlie Chaplin's lightfooted "Little Tramp," from lesbian go-go dancers to the swan maidens/men of Swan Lake, from the postmodern works of Bill T. Jones to the dangers of same-sex social dancing at Disneyland and the ecstatic Mardi Gras dance parties of Sydney, Australia, this book tracks the intersections of dance and human sexuality in the twentieth century as the definition of each has shifted and expanded.

The contributors to Dancing Desires come from various fields (literature, history, theater, dance, film studies, legal studies, critical race studies), and they employ methods of study ranging from textual analysis and film theory to ethnography. By embracing dance, and bodily movement more generally, as a crucial focus for investigation, together they initiate a new agenda for tracking the historical kinesthetics of sexuality.

"This break-through volume opens a long overdue discussion of dance and sexuality." – Joan L. Erdman, Columbia College Chicago

"Dancing Desires brings together some of the most influential minds in dance cultural studies. This important book will find an enthusiastic readership among scholars and students of dance studies, performance studies, cultural studies, American studies, and queer studies." – David Róman, University of Southern California

Jane C. Desmond, a modern dancer and choreographer from 1975 to 1990, is now an associate professor of American studies at the University of Iowa. She is the author of Staging Tourism: Bodies on Display from Waikiki to Sea World (University of Chicago Press, 1999) and editor of Meaning in Motion: New Cultural Studies of Dance (Duke University Press, 1997).

Title: Dancing Desires
Editor: Jane C. Desmond
Pub date: July 2001
6 x 9 in., 360 pp., 21 b/w photos
ISBN 0-299-17050-0 (cloth)
ISBN 0-299-17054-3 (paper)

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