Dancing the World Smaller: Staging Globalism in Mid-Century America

Rebekah J. Kowal (Author)

Product Details

Oxford University Press, USA
Publish Date
December 10, 2019
6.1 X 9.1 X 0.7 inches | 0.95 pounds

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About the Author

Rebekah J. Kowal is Associate Professor of Dance at The University of Iowa and author of How to Do Things with Dance: Performing Change in Postwar America and co-editor with Randy Martin and Gerald Siegmund of The Oxford Handbook of Dance and Politics


"Dancing the World Smaller offers a fascinating, richly layered account of the literal and figurative choreography by which a transnational assembly of dancers, critics, and impresarios helped mid-century New York lay claim to the status of a global city and helped the U.S. model itself as home to a new globalist imaginary ... Rebekah Kowal masterfully tracks the cultural factions and frictions that energized this lost chapter of dance history, and the result is a remarkable story that speaks just as meaningfully to our own fraught moment in global social and cultural politics." -- Jean-Christophe Agnew, Professor of American Studies and History, Yale University

"In Dancing the World Smaller, Kowal documents a phenomenon that has largely escaped scholarly notice: the widespread interest in stagings of 'global' dance forms in New York City in the middle of the twentieth century. Based on extensive archival research, the book not only makes a compelling case for considering 'ethnic dance' alongside the dominant form of modern dance, but also shows how performances of cultural 'otherness' registered the tensions and ambivalence of US foreign policy. In the process, Kowal deftly historicizes and theorizes one of our most fundamental assumptions about dance -- its ability to bridge difference." -- Anthea Kraut, Professor, Department of Dance, University of California, Riverside