This revised third edition of The Male Dancer updates and enlarges a seminal book that has established itself as the definitive study of the performance of masculinities in twentieth century modernist and contemporary choreography.
In this authoritative and lively study, Ramsay Burt presents close readings of dance works from key moments of social and political change in the norms around gender and sexuality. The book’s argument that prejudices against male dancers are rooted in our ideas about the male body and behaviour has been extended to take into account recent interdisciplinary discussions about whiteness, intersectionality, disability studies, and female masculinities. As well as analysing works by canonical figures like Nijinsky, Graham, Cunningham, and Bausch, it also examines the work of lesser-known figures like Michio Ito and Eleo Pomare, as well as choreographers who have recently emerged internationally like Germaine Acogny and Trajal Harrell.
The Male Dancer has proven to be essential reading for anyone interested in dance and the cultural representation of gender. By reflecting on the latest studies in theory, performance, and practice, Burt has thoroughly updated this important book to include dance works from the last ten years and has renewed its timeliness for the 2020s.
Table of Contents
INTRODUCTION; CHAPTER ONE. THE TROUBLE WITH THE MALE DANCER...; CHAPTER TWO. PERFORMING MASCULINITIES; CHAPTER THREE. NIJINSKY; CHAPTER FOUR. AMERICAN MEN; CHAPTER FIVE. DANCING IN THE CITY; CHAPTER SIX. MASCULINITY AND LIBERATION; CHAPTER SEVEN. IDENTITY POLITICS; CHAPTER EIGHT. DANCING NEW RELATIONS; BIBLIOGRAPHY
Ramsay Burt is Professor Emeritus of Dance History at De Montfort University, Leicester. His publications include The Male Dancer (1995, revised 2007 and 2021), Alien Bodies (1997), Judson Dance Theater (2006), Writing Dancing Together (2009) with Valerie Briginshaw, Ungoverning Dance (2016), British dance: Black Routes (2016) with Christy Adair, and Dance, Modernism, and Modernity with Michael Huxley (2019).
Reviews of the first edition:
‘The fascination of this book lies in the way in which the author is able
to locate the male dancer in the broader socio-historic context of the
times . . . a vital contribution to the placing of dance and its literature
within contemporary cultural debate.’
Dr Alexander Carter, Middlesex University
‘A complex summary of the numerous biases and windows through
which we have viewed and continue to view male dancers . . . Burt’s
work argues persuasively that theatrical dance is a vital and threatening
site for defining masculinity in relation to the culture at large.’
David J. Popalisky, Dance Research Journal