Society and the Dance by Paul Spencer
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Society and the Dance
By Paul Spencer

Society and the Dance

The Social Anthropology of Process and Performance

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Format: Paperback

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Society and the Dance by Paul Spencer

Book Description

Dancing has its place in all societies; yet the phenomenon of dance has been oddly neglected by most anthropologists. This volume is intended to further anthropological awareness of its critical relevance. It is claimed that, in a very important sense, society creates the dance, and it is to society and not just to the dancer's experience that we must turn to understand its significance. Performance has meaning within social process. The anthropological analysis of dance can be approached in a variety of ways. These are identified in the introduction to the volume, and then illustrated by seven case examples drawn from Africa, Southeast Asia, Melanesia, and Oceanis. In successive chapters, dancing is presented as a controlled emotional outlet whose form reflects cosmology; as a creative experience that draws adolescent girls into the adult world; as an extension of speech and gesture that adds further levels of meaning to formal occasions; as a strategy for orchestrating the climax of a successful exchange; as a challenge to the power of elders that generates an alternative reality; as a communial response to crisis that recreates order out of confusion; and as a sequence of transformations that periodically resolves an inherent social dilemma. The volume concludes with an assessment of the relevance of the work by a dance scholar. By revealing dance as an aspect - often the most spectacular aspect - of ritual behaviour, this work is intended to stimulate more anthropologists and those in related disciplines to realise the full potential of its study. It also offers insights to those who are principally interested in dance itself, as well as appealing to any reader who shares a curiosity about the ways in which the spectacle of dance can be interpreted.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780521315500
ISBN-10: 0521315506
Format: Paperback
(228mm x 152mm x 14mm)
Pages: 240
Imprint: Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publish Date: 31-Jan-1986
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Other Editions...

Books By Author Paul Spencer

Time, Space and the Unknown by Paul Spencer Time, Space and the Unknown, Paperback (May 2009)

First Published in 2004. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.

Maasai of Matapato by Paul Spencer Maasai of Matapato, Paperback (November 2003)

This study pioneered the relation of the dynamics of the Maasai age organization to tensions within the family. Together, these provide the twin strands of a man's career, opposed ritually and reflecting a fundamental ambivalence in Maasai thought. This analysis is illustrated with case material from the Matapato: a typical Maasai group.

Blackstone's Guide to the Care Standards Act 2000 by Paul Spencer Blackstone's Guide to the Care Standards Act 2000, Paperback (September 2003)

The Care Standards Act 2000, which came into force on 1 April 2002, substantially reforms the law relating to the registration and regulation of residential care homes and other establishments. This book provides an in-depth guide to the new Act and offers practical advice as to its wide-reaching effect.

» View all books by Paul Spencer


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