Dancing against the grain: new visions of masculinity in dance.
Roebuck, Chris (2001) Dancing against the grain: new visions of masculinity in dance. PhD thesis, Middlesex University.
The last quarter of the twentieth century witnessed an important development in contemporary theatre dance practice and its study. Since the early 1970s an increased level of concern with'masculinily' has directed dance makers and scholars alike, resulting in a number of new and challenging dance works alongside a significant growth in publications devoted to gender and identity politics. This activity has led to a change in a cultural practice that had previously been dominated by women practitioners and of critical interest mainly to feminist scholars. The impact of this shift towards a concern with 'masculinity' directs this studys exploration into the ways in which selected contemporary dance works represent forms of male identity that resist being categorised according to established models. Set within a framework of current thought on gender drawn from debates in the visual arts, dance literature and other non-dance sources, this research project investigates the extent to which these alternative models contribute to the development of a greater understanding of what it means to be a man in todays society. Furthermore, by paying close attention to the ways in which meaning is articulated in individual works, and setting subsequent findings against a historical perspective, this study questions some of the essentialist rhetoric used in dance scholarship and other critical disciplines which describe representations of masculinity. Through an interdisciplinary approach that is sensitive to how aspects of masculinity are articulated in dance, this study uncovers a diversity of representations hitherto unacknowledged by other analytical models. Moreover, this project raises awareness of how dance not only reflects cultural norms of gender and sexuality but resists them and presents new ones. This is the visionary capability of dance wherein works can be read as working'against the grain' of old-fashioned and essentialist attitudes about men in dance and in society.
|Item Type:||Thesis (PhD)|
|Research Areas:||School of Media and Performing Arts > Performing Arts|
|Deposited On:||05 Aug 2010 09:59|
|Last Modified:||22 Jul 2014 12:40|
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