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By Judith Hamera (auth.)

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Extra info for Dancing Communities: Performance, Difference, and Connection in the Global City

Example text

As Foster notes in her introduction to Choreographing History7 : ‘How to write a history of this bodily writing, this body we can only know through its writing. How to discover what it has done and then describe its actions in words. Impossible. Too wild, too chaotic, too insignificant. Vanished, disappeared, evaporated into thinnest air, the body’s habits and idiosyncrasies, even the practices that codify and regiment it, leave only the most disparate traces’ (1995: 4; italics and boldface in original).

Peggy Phelan, for example, argues that this emotional afterlife, [t]his transformative becoming is the almost always elegiac function of performance theory and writing, if not performance itself. Our admiration for performance tempts us beyond our reason to make it ours, for better or worse. The challenge before us is to learn to Intimacies in Motion 37 love the thing we’ve lost without assimilating it so thoroughly that it becomes us rather than remaining itself. What lies before the field of performance studies is precisely a discipline: a refusal to indulge the killing possessiveness too often bred in admiration and love.

Liz Brody observes: ‘When you sign up for a lesson on the Pilates equipment, you generally exercise under the close supervision of a trainer. On the Reformer alone, you lie, stand, kneel and sit while your body goes through a wide range of motion. Stretching while strengthening, you feel something like candy in a taffy pull’ (1998: S1+). Tamala Edwards adds: ‘for an hour an instructor leads a client through a volley of positions, both on the floor and on machines with names like the Cadillac and the Barrel.

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