Hostname: page-component-848d4c4894-wzw2p Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-05-24T20:51:36.741Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

Activating Whiteness: Racializing the Ordinary in US American Postmodern Dance

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  21 December 2018

Abstract

“Activating Whiteness: Racializing the Ordinary in US American Postmodern Dance” explores how the choreographic turn to postmodernism twisted the trope of racial exclusion from a focus on trained bodies to a focus on ordinary bodies. Analyses of Yvonne Rainer's Trio A (1966) and Trisha Brown's Locus (1975) demonstrate how ordinary bodies shape racially exclusive spaces and activate the biopolitical mechanisms of normalization that their choreography allegedly contests. This essay argues that the spaces activated by the bodies that shaped them carry the physical trace of the performers’ race through the enduring invisibility of whiteness.

Type
Articles
Copyright
Copyright © Dance Studies Association 2018 

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

Works Cited

Ahmed, Sara. 2007. “A Phenomenology of Whiteness.” Feminist Theory 8 (2): 149168.Google Scholar
Ahmed, Sara. 2010. The Promise of Happiness. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.Google Scholar
Banes, Sally. (1977) 1987. Terpsichore in Sneakers: Post-Modern Dance. Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press.Google Scholar
Banes, Sally. (1993) 1995. Democracy's Body: Judson Dance Theater, 1962–1964. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.Google Scholar
Berlant, Lauren. 2011. Cruel Optimism. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.Google Scholar
Bourdieu, Pierre. (1977) 1979. “The Kabyle House or the World Reversed.” In Algeria 1960: The Disenchantment of the World, The Sense of Honour, The Kabyle House or The World Reversed. Translated by Nice, Richard, 133153. New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
Burt, Ramsay. 2006. Judson Dance Theater: Performative Traces. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
Butler, Judith. 2000. “Restaging the Universal: Hegemony and the Limits of Formalism.” In Contingency, Hegemony, Universality: Contemporary Dialogues on the Left, edited by Butler, Judith, Laclau, Ernesto, and Žižek, Slavoj, 1144. Brooklyn, NY: Verso.Google Scholar
Casel, Gerald. 2016. “Gerald Casel on Responding to Trisha Brown's Locus,” Hope Mohr Dance, November 1. Accessed August 9, 2018. https://www.hopemohr.org/blog/2016/11/1/gerald-casel-on-responding-to-trisha-browns-locusGoogle Scholar
Catterson, Pat. 2009. “I Promised Myself I Would Never Let It Leave My Body's Memory.” Dance Research Journal 41 (2): 211.Google Scholar
Chow, Rey. 2002. The Protestant Ethnic and the Spirit of Capitalism. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
Collins, Patricia Hill. (1990) 2000. Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness, and the Politics of Empowerment. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
Combahee River Collective. (1977) 1978. “A Black Feminist Statement.” In Capitalist Patriarchy and the Case for Socialist Feminism, edited by Eisenstein, Zillah, 210218. New York: Monthly Review Press.Google Scholar
Crenshaw, Kimberlé. (1989) 1995. “Demarginalizing the Intersection of Race and Sex: A Black Feminist Critique of Antidiscrimination Doctrine, Feminist Theory and Antiracist Politics.” In Critical Race Theory: The Key Writings that Formed the Movement, edited by Crenshaw, Kimberlé, Gotanda, Neil, Peller, Gary, and Thomas, Kendall, 357383. New York: The New Press.Google Scholar
Das, Joanna Dee. 2017. Katherine Dunham: Dance and the African Diaspora. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Foster, Susan Leigh. 2002. Dances that Describe Themselves: The Improvised Choreography of Richard Bull. Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press.Google Scholar
Foster, Susan Leigh. 2011. Choreographing Empathy: Kinesthesia in Performance. London, UK: Routledge.Google Scholar
Foucault, Michel. (1978) 1990. The History of Sexuality, vol. 1: An Introduction. New York: Random House.Google Scholar
Foucault, Michel. 2003. “Society Must Be Defended”: Lectures at the Collège de France, 1975–1976. Edited by Davidson, Arnold I.. Translated by Macey, David. New York: Picador.Google Scholar
Frankenberg, Ruth. 2001. “The Mirage of an Unmarked Whiteness.” In The Making and Unmaking of Whiteness, edited by Rasmussen, Birgit Brander, Klinenberg, Eric, Nexica, Irene J., and Wray, Matt, 7296. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.Google Scholar
Gamman, Lorraine and Marshment, Margaret. 1988. The Female Gaze: Women as Viewers of Popular Culture. London, UK: Women's Press.Google Scholar
Gottschild, Brenda Dixon. (1996) 1998. Digging the Africanist Presence in American Performance: Dance and Other Contexts. Westport, CT: Praeger.Google Scholar
Graham, Amanda. 2016. “Space Travel: Trisha Brown's Locus.” Art Journal 75 (2): 2645.Google Scholar
Hooks, Bell. 1997. “Representing Whiteness in the Black Imagination.” In Displacing Whiteness: Essays in Social and Cultural Criticism, edited by Frankenberg, Ruth, 165179. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.Google Scholar
Kazanjian, David. 2003. The Colonizing Trick: National Culture and Imperial Citizenship in Early America. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
Kraut, Anthea. 2015. Choreographing Copyright: Race, Gender, and Intellectual Property Rights in American Dance. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Lott, Eric. (1993) 2013. Love and Theft: Blackface Minstrelsy and the American Working Class. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Manning, Susan. 2004. Modern Dance, Negro Dance: Race in Motion. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
Mauss, Marcel. (1935) 1973. “Techniques of the body.” Translated by Ben Brewster. Economy and Society 2 (1): 7088.Google Scholar
Mohr, Hope. 2018. “Choreographic Transmission in an Expanded Field: Reflections on ‘Ten Artists Respond to Locus.’TDR: The Drama Review 62 (2): 143150.Google Scholar
Mulvey, Laura. 1989. Visual and Other Pleasures. New York: Palgrave.Google Scholar
Mulvey, Laura. (1975) 2003. “Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema.” In The Feminism and Visual Culture Reader, edited by Jones, Amelia, 4453. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
Thiong'o, Ngũgĩ wa. 1993. Moving the Centre: The Struggle for Cultural Freedoms. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.Google Scholar
Puar, Jasbir K. 2005. “Queer Times, Queer Assemblages.” Social Text 23 (3–4): 121139.Google Scholar
Quinlan, Meghan. 2017. “Gaga as Metatechnique: Negotiating Choreography, Improvisation, and Technique in a Neoliberal Dance Market.” Dance Research Journal 49 (2): 2643.Google Scholar
Rainer, Yvonne and Finnane, Gabrielle. 1992. “Discussing Privilege: an interview with Yvonne Rainer.” Continuum: The Australian Journal of Media & Culture, Vol. 5 (2). Accessed August 9, 2018. http://wwwmcc.murdoch.edu.au/readingroom/5.2/Finnane.htmlGoogle Scholar
Rosenberg, Susan. 2017. Trisha Brown: Choreography as Visual Art. Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press.Google Scholar
Savigliano, Marta Elena. 2009. “Worlding Dance and Dancing Out There in the World.” In Worlding Dance, edited by Foster, Susan Leigh, 163–90. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
Schneider, Rebecca. 2005. “Solo, Solo, Solo.” In After Criticism: New Responses to Art and Performance, edited by Butt, Gavin, 2347. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing.Google Scholar
Stewart, Kathleen. 2007. Ordinary Affects. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.Google Scholar
Stoler, Ann Laura. 1995. Race and the Education of Desire: Foucault's History of Sexuality and the Colonial Order of Things. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.Google Scholar
Willis, Tara Aisha. 2016. “Stumbling into Place: Seeing Blackness in David Thomson's Choreographies of Ambiguity.” The Black Scholar 46 (1): 414.Google Scholar
Wright, Megan. 2016–2018. “A Dancer's Perspective: The hidden challenges in ‘pedestrian’ movement,” Stephen Petronio Company: Bloodlines Room, 2016–2018. Accessed August 9, 2018. http://stephenpetroniocompany.tumblr.com/post/165475352367/a-dancers-perspective-the-hidden-challenges-inGoogle Scholar