The Disruptive Dialogue of Dance for the Camera

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Abstract:

Welcoming us into the era of the televisual in an article published in 1997, Philip Auslander suggests that in the context of a mediatized, repetitive economy, using the technology of reproduction in ways that defy that economy may be a more significantly oppositional gesture than asserting the value of the live. In this article I argue that dance made for television constitutes, in Auslander's terms, a thoroughly oppositional form, one which accepts that mediation is inevitable yet also interrogates the mediating systems inscribed within both the reproductive and the live economies. With reference to pieces made by Salford University students within the Dance for the Camera module, the article shows how the two forms appropriate each others' codes and then subvert them, consistently provoking expectations in the viewer which they then disrupt. As we shift between different decoding languages, we are brought to an awareness of interpretation as language. A dialogue is instituted between the mediating subject and the mediated world and we, as viewers, rediscover the enjoyment of disruption, the potential of the two forms to reinvent each other. Dance made for television demonstrates the flexibility of categorical boundaries. It does not privilege one form over another, but rather celebrates the creative space between the two.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1386/jmpr.2.1.37

Publication date: April 1, 2001

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  • The Journal of Media Practice is a peer-reviewed publication addressing practical work in media teaching and research. To this end, the editorial board and consultative panels comprise prominent academics and practitioners from a range of disciplines committed to the achievement of academic and professional ends through means centred on practical work.
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