5 Pages

Introduction to Part 1

Why dance history?
ByGeraldine Morris, Larraine Nicholas

This introduction presents an overview of key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of part I of the book. The part I is concerned with routes into history, whether through notions of personal identity, social identity or embodiment through dancing. It explores some particular questions raised about the identity or authenticity of what people are studying as dance works from the past as well as the pleasures encountered in embodying them. The part I include essays that demonstrate the radical nature of historical inquiry, challenging received notions, such as time, heritage/tradition and the concept of the dance work. The essays deal directly or indirectly with the connection, linguistic and conceptual, between memory and history. Histories ignored or suppressed are the results of specific ideologies that conceive of dance history from a Euro-American viewpoint.