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Contemporary Dance in a Digital and Global Dancescape

The latest issue of Critical Stages, a peer-reviewed journal from the International Association of Theatre Critics, was just published. The title is "Global Dancescapes." It touches on the many ways that dance is happening in different and connected places in our globalized world. One article in particular might be of interest to the network of scholars who are interested in #PerformanceDH: Deborah Jowitt's "Tracking Performances in the Digital Age".

It looks closer at some artistic strategies that Jowitt has identified in works premiered in New York City after 2000. Jowitt argues that the "digital world" has changed the way the dance critic works, funding structures are established (the example here comes from Kickstarter), and dissemination of works happens. She writes that "distances can be traversed virtually and immediately, cultural differences are more easily be bridged and brought together," and gives examples in how global connections have "facilitated new artistic networks."

But technology also affects the very aesthetic choices—the dramaturgy, perhaps—of some of the dances. Zvi Gotheiner's Zoom (2005) is a case in point here. Jowitt writes about the performance: "While a woman danced alone, words projected on a screen behind her invited audience members to take a photo of her with their cell phones and either text or e-mail these to the number provided. The photos submitted appeared intermittently on the screen, interspersed with various patterns and transformed video images."

Check out the free and open-access journal Critical Stages here.


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