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Choreographies of the LivingBioaesthetics in Literature, Art, and Performance$
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Carrie Rohman

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190604400

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190604400.001.0001

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Nude Vibrations: Isadora Duncan’s Creatural Aesthetic

Nude Vibrations: Isadora Duncan’s Creatural Aesthetic

Chapter:
(p.19) 1 Nude Vibrations: Isadora Duncan’s Creatural Aesthetic
Source:
Choreographies of the Living
Author(s):

Carrie Rohman

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190604400.003.0002

This chapter reads Duncan as a paradigmatic test-case for re-seeing the complexities of “naturalness” in the early twentieth century in relation to animality, performance, and an aesthetics that is specifically posthumanist. Rather than a naïve essentialist, Duncan should be viewed as a kind of vitalist who understood art as emerging from the vibrancy of matter itself and the drift or transfer of forces from earth to animal, from animal to human. By examining her animal and cosmic imagery and by discussing questions such as barefootedness and nudity as specific markers of animality in Duncan’s aesthetic, I frame her dance theory as exhibiting a sophisticated posthumanist artistic position. Recognizing these elements of her artistic theories helps us re-evaluate the way Duncan has been viewed because of the natural strains in her work, but also opens new lines of inquiry regarding animality and modern dance.

Keywords:   Isadora Duncan, animals, animality, modern dance, vitalism, nudity, barefoot(ed), new modernist studies, animal studies, choreography, performance

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