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Description - Social Choreography by Andrew Hewitt

Social Choreography links dance and the aesthetics of everyday movement to ideas about social order. By examining a continuum of bodily motions--from walking, stumbling, and laughter to more formal dance movements--Andrew Hewitt demonstrates how choreography has served not only as metaphor for modernity but also as a structuring blueprint for thinking about and shaping modern social organization. Bringing dance history and critical theory together, he argues that ideology needs to be understood as something embodied and practiced, not just as an abstract from of consciousness. In the process, he provides a powerful exposition of Marxist debates about the relation of ideology and aesthetics and a demonstration of how theoretically engaging with bodies in motion can reorient those debates. Hewitt focuses on the period between the mid-nineteenth century and the early twentieth and considers dance performers and social theorists in Germany, Britain, France, and the United States. Analyzing the arguments of writers including Friedrich Schiller, Theodor Adorno, Hans Brandenburg, Ernst Bloch, and Siegfried Kracauer, he reveals in their thinking about the movement of bodies a shift from an understanding of play as the condition of human freedom to one prioritizing labor as either the realization or alienation of embodied human potential. Whether considering understandings of the Charleston, Isadora Duncan, Nijinsky, or the famous British chorus line, the Tiller Girls, Hewitt foregrounds gender as he uses dance and everyday movement to rethink the relationship of aesthetics and social order.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780822335146
ISBN-10: 082233514X
Format: Paperback
(229mm x 152mm x mm)
Pages: 264
Imprint: Duke University Press
Publisher: Duke University Press
Publish Date: 8-Apr-2005
Country of Publication: United States

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Author Biography - Andrew Hewitt

Andrew Hewitt is Professor of Germanic Languages and Comparative Literature at the University of California, Los Angeles. He is the author of Political Inversions: Homosexuality, Fascism, and the Modernist Imaginary and Fascist Modernism: Aesthetics, Politics, and the Avant-Garde.

Books By Andrew Hewitt

Fascist Modernism by Andrew Hewitt
Paperback, July 1996
$32.80