Able as anything: integrated dance performance in New Zealand

Kolb, Alexandra, Briggs, Hahna and Miyahara, Motohide (2012) Able as anything: integrated dance performance in New Zealand. Brolga: An Australian Journal about Dance, 37 . pp. 16-30. [Article]


Integrated dance involves people both with and without disabilities. Influenced by postmodern dance and contact improvisation, it has the power to challenge classic aesthetics (which idealises specific dancing bodies and movement) by creating new and inclusive aesthetic forms. To overcome negative cultural representations and constructions of disability, choreographers have used different performance strategies, such as the framing of works, compiling multiple layers of narrative, and emphasising the viewer's gaze and expectations of a social encounter. Other tactics include shock and the exaggeration of (dis)abilities. An analysis of two dance pieces by the New Zealand-based Touch Compass, This Word Love (1999) and Picnic (2003), demonstrates the company’s development, revealing an increasing complexity of work especially with regard to how the disabled dancing body is represented and reconstructed on stage. Integrated dance offers a new progression in dance aesthetics by challenging and developing previous styles within the Western contemporary dance tradition, both in New Zealand and elsewhere.

Item Type: Article
Research Areas: A. > School of Media and Performing Arts > Performing Arts
Item ID: 10008
Depositing User: Alexandra Kolb
Date Deposited: 12 Feb 2013 06:47
Last Modified: 04 Oct 2017 14:51

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