Social Partner Dance: Body, Sound, and Space is an ethnographic theory of social partner dancing built on participant observation and interviews with instructors of tango, lindy hop, salsa, blues, and various other forms. The work establishes a general analytical language for the study of these dances, based on the premise that a thorough understanding of any lead/follow form must consider in depth how it manages the four-part relationship between self, partner, music, and surroundings. Each chapter begins with a brief vignette on a distinct dance form and explores the focused worlds of partnered dancing done for the joy and entertainment of the dancers themselves. Grounded intellectually in embodiment studies and sensory ethnography, and empirically in ethnographic fieldwork, Social Partner Dance promotes scholarship that understands the social, cultural, and political functions of partner dance through its embodied practice.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 Introduction: The Four Branches of Awareness / Chapter 2 Choreohexis: Preparing for Partnership / Chapter 3 The Two-Body System: Positioning, Axis, and Elasticity / Chapter 4 Choreography: Base Elements, Vocabulary, and Basic Steps / Chapter 5 Moving to Music: Social Bodies Entraining / Chapter 6 Floorcraft: Sharing Space / Chapter 7 The Dance Partnership: Leading and Following / Chapter 8 Power Dynamics: Mechanisms of Patriarchy and Resistance / Chapter 9 Conclusion: Social Bodies in Training
David Kaminsky is Associate Professor of Global Arts Studies at the University of California, Merced.