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Table of Contents for
Fields in Motion: Ethnography in the Worlds of Dance, edited by Dena Davida

Foreword | Naomi Jackson (Canada/USA)


Introduction: Anthropology at Home in the Art Worlds of Dance | Dena Davida (Canada)

Section 1: Inventing Strategies, Models, and Methods

1. Shifting Positions: From the Dancers’ Posture to the Researchers’ Posture | Anne Cazemajou (France)

2. A Template for Art World Dance Ethnography: The Luna “Nouvelle Danser” Event | Dena Davida (Canada)

3. Interview Strategies for Concert Dance World Settings | Jennifer Fisher (Canada/USA)

4. The “Why Dance?” Projects: Choreographing the Text and Dancing the Data | Michèle Moss (Canada)

5. What is the Pointe?: The Pointe Shoe as Symbol in Dance Ethnography | Kristin Harris Walsh (Canada)

Section 2: Embodying Autoethnographies

6. Writing, Dancing, Embodied Knowing: Autoethnographic Research | Karen Barbour (New Zealand)

7. The Body as a Living Archive of Dance/Movement: Autobiographical Reflections | Janet Goodridge (England)

8. Self-Portrait of an Insider Researching Contemporary Dance and Culture in Vitória, Brazil | Eluza Maria Santos (Brazil/USA)

9. Reflections on Making the Dance Documentary Regular Events of Beauty: Negotiating Culture in the Work of Choreographer Richard Tremblay | Priya Thomas (Canada)

10. Angelwindow: “I dance my body double” | Inka Juslin (Finland)

Section 3: Examining Creative Processes and Pedagogies

11. The Montréal Danse Choreographic Research and Development Workshop: Dancer-Researchers Examine Choreographer-Dancer Relational Dynamics during the Creative Process | Pamela Newell and Sylvie Fortin (Canada)

12. How the Posture of Researcher-Practitioner Serves an Understanding of Choreographic Activity | Joëlle Vellet (France)

13. A Teacher “Self-Research” Project: Sensing Differences in the Teaching and Learning of Contemporary Dance Technique in New Zealand | Warwick Long (Canada/New Zealand), Ralph Buck (New Zealand), and Sylvie Fortin (Canada)

14. Dance Education and Emotions: Articulating Unspoken Values in the Everyday Life of a Dance School | Teija Löytönen (Finland)

15. Black Tights and Dance Belts: Constructing a Masculine Identity in a World of Pink Tutus in Corner Brook, Newfoundland | Candice Pike (Canada)

16. The Construction of the Body in Wilfride Piollet’s Classical Dance Classes | Nadége Tardieu and Georgiana Gore (France)

Section 4: Revealing Choreographies as Cultural and Spiritual Practices

17. Vincent Sekwati Mantsoe: Trance as a Cultural Commodity | Bridget E. Cauthery (Canada)

18. Anthropophagic Bodies in Flea Market: A Study of Sheila Ribeiro’s Choreography | Mônica Dantas (Brazil)

19. The Bridge From Past to Present in Lin Hwai-min’s Nine Songs (1993): Literary texts and dance images | Yin-ying Huang (Taiwan)

20. Revealed By Fire: Lata Pada’s Narrative of Transformation | Susan McNaughton (Canada)

21. Spectres of the Dark: The Dance-Making Manifesto of Latina/Chicana Choreographies | Juanita Suarez (USA)

22. Not of Themselves: Contemporary Practices in American Protestant dance | Emily Wright (USA)

Epilogue: Theory That Acts Like Dancing: The Autoethnographic Strut | Lisa Doolittle and Anne Flynn (Canada)

List of Contributors

Copyright Acknowledgements



Karen Barbour is a senior lecturer in dance in the School of Education at the University of Waikato, New Zealand. Returning to academic study after dance training presented rich spaces for negotiation and tension between traditional and dancerly forms of knowledge and inspired her doctoral thesis on women’s solo contemporary dance. Karen’s work as a dance lecturer encompasses choreography, contemporary dance, improvisation, and performance. Barbour has just published Dancing across the Page: Narrative and Embodied Ways of Knowing (2011), choreographs professionally, creates digital dance works, and publishes articles in a range of academic journals.

Ralph Buck is associate professor and head of Dance Studies, University of Auckland. He holds a PhD from the University of Otago. His research interests are in dance education, curriculum, pedagogy, and community dance. Ralph has presented his research in networks such as Congress on Research in Dance, World Dance Alliance (WDA), Dance and the Child International. He has given keynote addresses at national and international conferences. He is chair, Education and Training Network, WDA: Asia-Pacific; chairperson, Executive Council, World Alliance for Arts Education; and isan honorary life member of the Australian Dance Council.

Bridget Cauthery is a lecturer, journalist, and arts consultant based in Toronto, Canada. She received her doctorate in dance studies from the University of Surrey, UK, in 2007, where her research focused on the applicability of trance to Western concert dance forms. She lectures in the dance department at York University and in the theatre department at Ryerson University and is currently working with ten international choreographers on a book project provisionally titled Choreographing the North, funded by the Canada Council for the Arts.

Anne Cazemajou completed an MA in philosophy, two DEA in the performing arts, and, in 2010, a PhD in dance anthropology at Université Blaise Pascal, Clermont Université. Her doctoral research examines the body’s experience of transmission in a case study of a contemporary dance class for dance-interested adults in which the teacher, Toni D’Amelio, had integrated a yoga technique. Since 2007, she has taught the Université Blaise Pascal, Clermont Université, Université Paris 13 and Université Paris 8. Cazemajou practises Iyengar yoga and is a founding member of the Atelier des Doctorants at the Centre National de la Danse in Paris.

Mônica Dantas earned her PhD in the program “Études et pratiques des arts” at the Université du Québec à Montréal. She has a master’s in human movement sciences, and since 1995 has been a professor at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul in Porto Alegre, Brazil, teaching in the physical education department and the master’s program of performing arts. She has published articles in scientific journals on the subject of contemporary dance, and in 1999 authored the monograph Dança, o enigma do movimento (Dance, the enigma of movement). Dantas is also a practising contemporary dancer and choreographer.

Dena Davida, an American living in Montréal since 1977, earned her MA in movement studies from Wesleyan University (1995), and later her PhD in the Études et pratiques des arts program at the Université du Québec à Montréal (2006), where she taught improvisation, composition and theory classes for twenty-five years. She co-founded the Festival international de nouvelle danse in 1978 and, in 1981, Tangente, Québec’s first dance performance space, for which she remains co-artistic director. She is also a veteran contact improviser, contemporary dancer, and dance curator who has published numerous essays in dance journals and magazines on issues of contemporary dance, ethnography, and culture.

Lisa Doolittle is professor in theatre arts at the University of Lethbridge. She holds an MA in Movement Studies from Wesleyan University, and has worked as a dancer, choreographer, journalist and lecturer in the USA, Canada, UK, Italy, and Japan. With Anne Flynn, her SSHRC-supported research examines indigenous and “folk” dance in Canada, national identities, and Canadian multicultural policy. International presentations and publications include studies of Canadian dance in the twentieth century, concepts of folk dance and social dance, and the roles of performance in social change. Her community-based performance projects have focused on immigrant issues and health promotion in Lethbridge, London (UK), and Malawi.

Jennifer Fisher, PhD, is the author of Nutcracker Nation: How an Old World Ballet Became a Christmas Tradition in the New World (Yale University Press, 2003), which won the de la Torre Bueno special citation. Co-editor, with Anthony Shay, of When Men Dance: Choreographing Masculinities across Borders (Oxford University Press, 2009), she is an associate professor in the dance department of the University of California, Irvine, where she created Dance Major Journal, a publication for undergraduate writing. She has written about dance for The Globe and Mail (Toronto), the Los Angeles Times, and The New York Times, as well as for scholarly journals.

Anne Flynn has long been involved in the Calgary dance community as a performer, artistic director, teacher, writer, administrator, and dance education advocate. She earned her MA in movement studies from Wesleyan University. Professor in the Department of Dance at the University of Calgary, Faculties of Arts and Kinesiology, her dance research on Canadian women,multiculturalism and identity, health promotion, and education has been presented and published internationally. In collaboration with Lisa Doolittle, she co-founded Dance Connection magazine (1987–1995), edited Dancing Bodies, Moving Histories (2000) and has essays forthcoming in a themed issue of Discourses in Dance on “folk.”

Sylvie Fortin earned her PhD in dance from Ohio State University and is currently a professor in the dance department of the Université du Québec à Montréal, where she has taught since 1986. Her research interests focus on somatic education, research methodology, dance medicine, and feminist studies. A certified teacher of the Feldenkrais Method, she also has a wide experience in other somatic education methods. She has published numerous articles in scientific journals and has presented her work at conferences in Canada, England, United States, Australia, Germany, Portugal, Brazil, New Zealand, and France. In 2008, she edited the anthology Danse et Santé, based on her four-year research project on dancers’ health.

Janet Goodridge has a background in dance training and academic study. She holds a BA in drama/music (Bristol University), postgraduate diploma in Social Anthropology (London School of Economics), and PhD in Anthropology (University College London). She initiated and contributed to several UK university/college courses, and taught as visiting artist at various US universities. In 1993 she took early retirement from teaching to develop independent work in research, writing, music (percussion) and performance projects—teaching occasional courses in Laban studies, theatre movement and Tai Ji. Publications include Drama in the Primary School (1970), Rhythm and Timing of Movement in Performance: Drama, Dance and Ceremony (1999), and journal articles.

Georgiana Gore completed undergraduate and postgraduate training at the University of Keele, UK, where she was artistic director of Kontradance Theatre. Until 2008 she directed the Laboratoire d’Anthropologie des Pratiques Corporelles at Université Blaise Pascal, where in 2001 she created France’s first master’s program in dance anthropology and currently co-directs the Masters in Ethnomusicology and Anthropology of Dance. Her research interests include the anthropology of the body and dance, the politics of performance and dances of the Nigerian Edo. She has lectured in numerous countries, and contributed to many seminal publications including the anthology Anthropologie de la danse: Genèse et construction d’une discipline (2005–2006), co-edited with Andrée Grau.

Yin-ying Huang holds an MA in performance studies from New York University and a PhD in Dance from Temple University. Native to Taiwan, she is currently assistant professor of English and Performance at Chang Gung University and has also taught at Taiwan University and Taipei National University of Arts. Her research interests include dance theatre/ethnography, intercultural performance, feminist theatre. She has served as editor of Performing Arts Review and presented her research at conferences in the US, England, France, Portugal, and Germany. She has published articles in Dance Research Journal, Arts Review, International Journal of Humanities, and Hong Kong Theatre Journal.

Naomi Jackson is a dance scholar who has published and presented papers extensively in Europe, Canada, Russia, and the United States. She received her BA in philosophy and art history from McGill University, her MA from the University of Surrey, and PhD from New York University. Dr. Jackson has taught at the Juilliard School and is currently an associate professor in the School of Dance at Arizona State University. Her books include Converging Movements: Modern Dance and Jewish Culture at the 92nd Street Y, Right to Dance; Dancing for Rights (editor), and Dance, Human Rights and Social Justice (co-edited with Toni Shapiro-Phim).

Inka Juslin is a post-doctoral dance researcher undertaking research since 2007 in performance studies at New York University and also at the Dance in Nordic Space Project, University of Tampere in Finland. Her research interests include world theatre, and dance in conjunction to video and new media. She is also a Finnish dancer and choreographer currently based in New York City, collaborating with Melinda Ring Special Projects while continuing dance and media projects with artists Susan Kozel and Svitlana Matviyenko. Juslin has choreographed dance and video works in Finland, in Asia, North America, and Europe.

Warwick Long holds a master’s degree in physical education, University of Otago New Zealand and is a Certified Feldenkrais Practitioner. He currently teaches in the dance departments of the Université du Québec à Montréal and Concordia University. Long has danced professionally in Australia, Canada, and New Zealand and taught in the Dance Studies program at the University of Otago and UNITEC Institute of Technology in New Zealand. He published texts in Danse et Santé : Du corps intime au corps social (2008), Feldenkrais Journal (2004), and Research in Dance Education (2002), and presented at the Congress on Research in Dance (2005). He is finishing studies in osteopathy in Montreal.

Teija Löytönen holds a master’s degree in education (University of Helsinki) and earned her doctorate in dance with a study of discourses in dance institutions(Theatre Academy in Finland). Currently she is a senior researcher at Aalto University School of Art and Design. Her particular research interests include higher arts education, teaching cultures in arts education as well as collegial collaboration in relation to professional development and knowledge creation. She has published in several refereed journals and presented her research in various conferences. She is affiliated with CORD (Congress on Research in Dance) and NOFOD (Nordic Forum for Dance Research).

Susan McNaughton earned her MA in fine arts-dance, an MA in social anthropology, and was awarded a posthumous PhD, also in social anthropology, at York University. Susan danced with the Toronto Dance Theater, the London Contemporary Dance Theater (England), and independent Canadian and American artists. She managed and taught at Pavlychenko Studio, an early Toronto training ground and performance space. Her choreography has been performed in Europe, the US, and Chennai, India. McNaughton’s doctoral research explores how the socio-cultural and political affiliations within the Sri Lanka Tamil diaspora in Toronto shape, and are shaped by, faith-based commitments. She passed away in December 2010.

Michèle Moss is a choreographer, dancer, and educator. She completed her MA in interpretive studies in education and is currently a tenured assistant professor in the Department of Dance, at the University of Calgary in Canada. She co-founded Decidedly Jazz Danceworks, a professional dance company whose mission it is to preserve and promote jazz. She presents her research both textually and embodied in concert, and has been performing and choreographing since the mid-1980s. She also teaches and conducts ethnographic research in Cuba and Guinée, West Africa.

Pamela Newell received her master’s degree from the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) and has been a member of Concordia University’s Contemporary Dance faculty since 1998. Her research on the choreographer-dancer relationship in the creative process won awards from the Society for Canadian Dance Studies and UQAM. She is a regular contributor to The Dance Current magazine. Pamela has created a dozen choreographic works, including Being Susan Sontag (2006) and Ultreya! (2004). She is rehearsal director for Compagnie Marie Chouinard and danced with that company from 1992 to 1998. Pamela is pursuing certification in Bartenieff Fundamentals/Laban Movement Analysis.

Candice Pike is a graduate of York University’s MA in dance. Her chapter in this volume is the culmination of her work in a BA in social cultural studies from Memorial University’s Grenfell Campus. Her primary research interests include the construction of gender and status and community in ballet pedagogy, dance and popular culture, and research in the recreational dance world. Pike teaches recreational dance to dancers of all ages and levels. She is currently working on research and practical projects related to dance, masculinity, and community in Corner Brook, Newfoundland, Canada.

Eluza Santos, a native of Brazil, holds a PhD in dance from Texas Woman’s University. Her dissertation, The Dancing Voice of Culture: An Ethnography of Contemporary Dance in Vitória, Brazil, analyzes the cultural origins of Brazilian concert dance. She has presented scholarship, choreographed, and performed in Brazil, the US, and other countries. Santos was an associate professor of dance at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro, now lives in Brazil, and continues her professional activities as artist, scholar, and educator. She is a co-founding member of Latina Dance Theater Project (in the US) and founder of EluzArtes (in Brazil).

Juanita Suarez holds a PhD in Dance from Texas Woman’s University, and is associate professor of Dance, serving a joint position in the Department of Dance and Arts for Children Program at the College at Brockport SUNY. A co-founding member of the Latina Dance Theater Project, an international, interdisciplinary, performance ensemble, Suarez has also taught/performed creative dance in China (2000–2009) and Brazil (2010). In 2001, she received a Rockefeller Grant U.S.-Map Fund for Culture to study Mexico’s history through dance and music, culminating her research with a theater/dance production titled Visible Line/Invisible People featuring Mexico City’s Luz y Fuerza.

Nadège Tardieu holds a PhD from the Laboratoire d’Anthropologie des Pratiques Corporelles at the Université Blaise Pascal de Clermont-Ferrand, France. She is a dance researcher and a physical education instructor from France. From extensive fieldwork with innovative ballet teacher Wilfride Piollet and her students in various settings, her research examines questions of how she apprehended the realities and implications of being a researcher in her “own field” and how dance is transmitted and bodies were constructed in the particular cultural context of Piollet’s pedagogy.

Priya Thomas is a dancer, musician, and yoga educator with a background in South Asian art, comparative religion, and Sanskrit. Trained for twenty years in the classical South Indian dance form Bharatanatyam, her teacher was the primary pupil of Balasaraswati. She holds a BA from McGill University in comparative religion and a MA from York University in dance. Currently a doctoral candidate in dance studies at York University, she is working on a dissertation on modern yoga scholarship. She founded and edits the digital journal Shivers Up the Spine: The Yoga Examiner. She is also a musician with a catalogue of critically acclaimed solo releases.

Jofëlle Vellet is a mafître de conférences at the Universitfé de Nice Sophia Antipolis in France and holds a doctorate in aesthetics from the Universitfé de Paris 8. She directs the dance section in the arts department of the UFR LASH (UNS) and is a member of the Centre de recherche RITM (EA 3158) at the Universitfé de Nice. She taught for many years at the Universitfé Blaise Pascal de Clermont-Ferrand, where also co-directed the masterf’s program. Her research is situated at the crossroads between aesthetics and dance anthropology (anthropologie poïfétique). Her experiences as a dancer, choreographer, and teacher are important to the direction of her work.

Emily Wright, MFA, is a specialty instructor for dance at Belhaven University in Jackson, Mississippi. She received her BFA in dance from Belhaven University in 2002 and her MFA in dance, with an emphasis in performance and choreography, from Arizona State University in 2007. Ms. Wright has presented her research on contemporary trends in American Protestant dance from both insider and outsider perspectives in the context of current and historic tensions at numerous national and international conferences. She employs an autoethnographic approach to choreography as well as in her collaborations with Front Porch Dance, a Jackson-based contemporary dance company.