Danc­ing Jew­ish: Jew­ish Iden­ti­ty in Amer­i­can Mod­ern and Post­mod­ern Dance

  • From the Publisher
May 22, 2014

While Jews are com­mon­ly referred to as the peo­ple of the book,” Amer­i­can Jew­ish chore­o­g­ra­phers have con­sis­tent­ly turned to dance as a means to artic­u­late per­son­al and col­lec­tive iden­ti­ties; tan­gle with stereo­types; advance social and polit­i­cal agen­das; and imag­ine new pos­si­bil­i­ties for them­selves as indi­vid­u­als, artists, and Jews. 

Danc­ing Jew­ish

delin­eates this rich his­to­ry, demon­strat­ing that Jew­ish chore­o­g­ra­phers have not only been vital con­trib­u­tors to Amer­i­can mod­ern and post­mod­ern dance, but that they have also played a crit­i­cal and unac­knowl­edged role in the his­to­ry of Jews in the Unit­ed States. Draw­ing on a rich mix of archival work, inter­views with per­form­ers, a com­pan­ion web­site (with over fifty clips of dances by mul­ti­ple chore­o­g­ra­phers), and the author’s per­son­al expe­ri­ence as a dancer and choreographer, 

Danc­ing Jew­ish estab­lish­es dance as a cru­cial site in which Amer­i­can Jews have grap­pled with cul­tur­al belong­ing, per­son­al and col­lec­tive his­to­ries, and the val­ues that bind and pull them apart.

Discussion Questions