Saturday, July 14, 2012

Orientalish: Writers on Dance

Photo from the French website on Colette:

Since I've launched this page on my blog (Writers on Dance) I've honed my intent more clearly. I'm interested in writers, primarily fiction writers, who use dance to explore connection, emotion, meaning, and the body.  These writers primarily (though not exclusively) write about Middle Eastern or Eastern or gypsy-style dances.  Writers such as Simone de Beauvoir, Herta Muller, Sonallah Ibrahim do more than describe movements.  A scene is set and dance evokes fear and self-defense (as in Ibrahim's The Committee), self-destruction or representation, (as in de Beauvoir's She Came to Stay), or a means to feel alive (Herta Muller). Flaubert, Edward Said, and Jean Said Makdisi write non-fiction here, but their descriptions of time and place show reveal an intent different from standard journalism.

To sum up, "Writers on Dance" considers portrayals of dance and/or dancers  by writers who move beyond reportage of movement and costume and who consider this art form to be a serious, valid, and valuable means of human understanding.

Enjoy and send suggestions if you have them:

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