“Dancer as collaborator, co-author, co-owner, co-creator: power relations between dancer and choreographer”

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In contemporary concert dance, the efforts and creative powers of dancers can be overlooked and devalued against those of the choreographer. Might a binary relationship between the mind and the body haunt the relationship between the choreographer and dancer with the looming specter of a female body that is obedient, fertile, and shaped? This article explores whether dancers in contemporary concert dance should be credited in the choreographic process, creation of a technique, and in performance when they have actively contributed to the creative process. Weaving in my autoethnography examining my experiences as a dancer and choreographer in New York City, this article explores different models of working and creating engaging with the scholarship of dance practitioners and philosophy, dance, and feminist scholars. Seeing through a Marxist and Feminist lens, power relations are examined between choreographers and dancers, unraveling how these relations result in who is credited and whose labor and precarity is recognized. The trope of dancers, specifically female dancers, being mere instruments or muses is deconstructed in the re-examination of the relationship between modern dance pioneers Lester Horton and Bella Lewitzky.

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Research in Dance Education



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