The Spectacle of Difference; Dance and Disability on Screen

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    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)41-52
    JournalThe International Journal of Screendance
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2010

    Bibliographical note

    Author's note: - Significance: - This article emerges from a detailed analysis of several screendance works that feature disabled dance artists. It draws on disability studies, dance studies, studies in screendance and refers to Deleuzian perspectives to explore the ways in which the disabled dancing body is constructed by filmic techniques or the screen effectively erases disability. It is one of few critical analyses of disabled dance on screen and is included within the first issue of the Journal, with a specific focus on developing a discourse for screendance, so this paper contributes to an emerging scholarly discourse that attempts to position screendance as a unique practice that grows out of the visual arts, dance and film, and the critical frameworks that shape these practices. It is written for scholars, artists and educators.

    The paper grows out of and brings together two strands of Whatley’s research; (i) dance on screen and (ii) dance and disability. As Co-I on the AHRC-funded Screendance Network, Whatley has contributed to network events that have brought together international screendance makers and scholars to debate the work and to establish the first International Journal dedicated to this work. This work has grown out of the Arts Council-funded Fracture project, led by Whatley in 2007-8, which brought together dance and film makers to develop screendance projects. Whatley’s research into dance and disability grew out of her Moving Matters research and publication (2007), and has led to her work in collaboration with Blue Eyed Soul Dance Company for the Cultural Olympiad-funded project ‘Dance Transformations’, which researched the experience of disabled dance makers, and which concluded with a public Symposium at Coventry University; Dance Transformations. This work has led to several conference presentations and publications including:
    2010 ‘Strategies for inclusion in dance’, VSA conference, June, Washington, USA
    2010 ‘Dance Connections: researching the experience of dance artists and elders with dementia and memory loss working together’; MEMORY: a national conference on dance and dementia, December, The Blue Coat, Liverpool, UK. (guest speaker)
    2012 ‘Continuing the Journey’; Pathways to the Profession, Scottish Dance Theatre, Dundee (January) (invited speaker).
    The International Journal of Screendance is hosted by the University of Wisconsin-Madison and published under the Parallel Press imprint. It is an online open access journal.
    • Moving Matters

      Whatley, S.


      Project: Research

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