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Embodied Spectatorship? Interpreting dance reviews around 1900
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Culture and Aesthetics.
2017 (English)In: Nordic Theatre Studies, ISSN 0904-6380, E-ISSN 2002-3898, Vol. 29, no 1, p. 8-24Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The article intertwines historiographical analyses with research methods focusing on embodied responses to performances. It argues that dance reviews can be interpreted from a sensorial viewpoint, analyzing ways in which language articulates so-called kinaesthetic, or affective responses. The argument is based on theories of agency and embodiment (Noland). Swedish reviews from performances by Isadora Duncan (Stockholm, 1906), Artemis Colonna (Stockholm, 1903), and Loïe Fuller (Gothenburg, 1907) are investigated, and it is concluded that these kinaesthetic sensations are visible mainly in the language of female writers and spectators. Moreover, in arguing that an embodied spectatorship is important in order to understand the view of the period as a turning point in dance aesthetics, an emphasis is put on the importance of including the practice of dancing by both professionals and amateurs in this historical narrative. Besides embracing the emergence of the professional dance avant-garde, the interpretation focuses on the importance of a corporeal education of the audience. In particular, female audience members seem to, via a dance performance, identify with forms of sensory experience in tandem with visually evaluated objects of art. It is argued that the change in the female viewers’ perceptions had a potential political effect in that it gave voice to both corporeal sensations and women’s experiences in ways new to the public arena. Thus, it is in these experiences the important turning point in dance history emerges, rather than merely in the performances themselves.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 29, no 1, p. 8-24
Keywords [en]
embodied responses, kinaesthesia, dance reviews, Isadora Duncan, Loïe Fuller, female spectatorship, amateur dancing
National Category
Performing Art Studies
Research subject
Theatre Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-151478DOI: 10.7146/nts.v29i1.102965ISI: 000419271600003OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-151478DiVA, id: diva2:1173577
Projects
Turning Points and Continuity: The Changing Roles of Performance in Society 1880-1925
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 1284803Available from: 2018-01-12 Created: 2018-01-12 Last updated: 2018-02-05Bibliographically approved

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