Anarchic Dance  book cover
1st Edition

Anarchic Dance

Edited By

Liz Aggiss


Billy Cowie

ISBN 9780415365178
Published March 30, 2006 by Routledge
224 Pages

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Book Description

Liz Aggiss and Billy Cowie, known collectively as Divas Dance Theatre, are renowned for their highly visual, interdisciplinary brand of dance performance that incorporates elements of theatre, film, opera, poetry and vaudevillian humour. Anarchic Dance, consisting of a book and downloadable resources, is a visual and textual record of their boundary-shattering performance work. The downloadable resources feature extracts from Aggiss and Cowie's work, including the highly-acclaimed dance film Motion Control (premiered on BBC2 in 2002), rare video footage of their punk-comic live performances as The Wild Wigglers and reconstructions of Aggiss's solo performance in Grotesque Dancer.

These films are cross-referenced in the book, allowing readers to match performance and commentary as Aggiss and Cowie invite a broad range of writers to examine their live performance and dance screen practice through analysis, theory, discussion and personal response. Extensively illustrated with black and white and colour photographs Anarchic Dance, provides a comprehensive investigation into Cowie and Aggiss’s collaborative partnership and demonstrates a range of exciting approaches through which dance performance can be engaged critically.

Table of Contents

Foreword Donald Hutera  Notes on contributors  Acknowledgements  1. Introduction: Navigating the known Liz Aggiss and Billy Cowie  2. The aesthetics of smash and grab Carol Brown  3. Writing dance Deborah Levy  4. Liz Aggiss and ‘Authentick’ grotesque expressionism Marion Kant  5. Choreographic vocabulary 1: Visual metaphor Billy Cowie  6. Outsider Performance: A raw vision: Dance and learning difficulties Liz Aggiss  7. Deconstruction in Die Orchidee: Mischievous plays in the spaces between language and meanings Valerie A Briginshaw  8. Hilde Holger, spirit and maracas Claudia Kappenberg and Liz Aggiss  9. Choreographic vocabulary 2: Time and rhythm Billy Cowie  10. The impossibility of the review in the mind of the critic Ian Bramley  11. Deconstructing Heidi Sondra Fraleigh  12. Choreographic vocabulary 3: Space Billy Cowie  13. Screen Divas: A filmic expression of the grotesque aesthetic Sherril Dodds  14. Reconstruction: Or why you can never step into the same river twice Liz Aggiss  15. Anarchic dance Billy Cowie  Afterword Liz Aggiss and Billy Cowie  Work  Bibliography  Index

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Liz Aggiss is a dancer, performer, choreographer and filmmaker. Awards include Bonnie Bird, Czech Crystal 2002, Special Jury Award Houston 2003, Best Woman Film Mediawaves Hungary 2003, Romanian Cinematography Award 2003. Received Arts Council Dance Fellowship 2003. Currently Professor of Visual Performance at Brighton University.

Billy Cowie is a choreographer, composer and filmmaker. His awards include Czech Crystal Prague Golden Film Festival 2002, Special Jury Golden Award Houston 2003, Romanian National Office of Cinematography Award 2003. He is currently a Principal Research Fellow at the University of Brighton.


'An excellent document of the work of Liz Aggiss & Billy Cowie.' – Lea Anderson