Reconstructing Ragtime Dancing: Moving from the Archive to the Repertoire
Wed 28th March 12-1pm
Venue: Bishop Otter Campus: Room LO3
Despite being one of the first modern dance forms, we know relatively little about ragtime dancing. The little we do know addresses only the codified and commodified dance practices of professional performers and their elite audiences. My project is to reconstruct the ragtime dancing of a wide range of cultures and classes–to ask ourselves how immigrants and migrants danced ragtime, for example. The goal is to maintain the diversity of ragtime dancing and recognize the opportunities for creative choice built within the practice, rather than homogenize my primary sources into a single universal historical dance object called ragtime dance. By embracing the difference within dance forms, I argue dance researchers can better access the multiple meanings, pleasures, and intrinsic power of the dancing we study.