chapter  14
13 Pages

Considering causation and conditions of possibility

Practitioners and patrons of new dance in progressive-era America 1
ByLinda J. Tomko

This chapter provides a useful perspective on distinctions that critical theory has drawn between causation and agency, on the one hand, and conditions of possibility, on the other. It is not too much to consider agents, causes, and conditions of possibility as different registrations or enactments of the structures and dynamism compelling change that both are capable of accessing. The changes in dance practice launched by Duncan, St Denis, and Fuller in different ways capitalized on almost a century of vibrant efforts to parse women's roles in US society. In the foregoing account, nineteenth-century separate spheres ideology could very well have limited White, middle- and upper-class American women to a private space materially realized as 'the home'. In the early twentieth-century United States, a cluster of women movement practitioners took the opportunity to press for and to fashion dance practices that contested and confirmed current cultural issues.