On Stage Alone:
Soloists and the Modern Dance Canon

Edited by Claudia Gitelman and Barbara Palfy

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Rediscover some of the most courageous dancers of the twentieth century

"Providing a broad examination of the solo that spans the twentieth century, the expertly curated essays in this volume bring to light specific soloists' work while also reflecting larger trends in concert dance and interrogating issues of aesthetics, performativity, gender, race, and nation. It is a welcome addition to the field."--Hannah Kosstrin, Reed College

"Diverse in both the dance artists considered and research approaches utilized, this thoughtful and engaging collection of essays enriches the growing body of dance scholarship by introducing us to the works of an array of daring and creative solo dance artists."--Linda Caruso Haviland, Bryn Mawr College

Soloists ignited the modern dance movement and have been a source of its constant renewal. Pioneering dancers such as Loïe Fuller, Isadora Duncan, Ruth St. Denis, and Maud Allan embodied the abstraction and individuality of the larger modernist movement while making astounding contributions to their art. Nevertheless, solo dancers have received far less attention in the literature than have performers and choreographers associated with large companies.
In On Stage Alone, editors Claudia Gitelman and Barbara Palfy take an international approach to the solo dance performance. The essays in this standout volume broaden the dance canon by bringing to light modern dance soloists from Europe, Asia, and the Americas who have shaped significant, sustained careers by performing full programs of their own choreography.
Featuring in-depth examinations of the work of artists such as Michio Ito, Daniel Nagrin, Ann Carlson, and many others, On Stage Alone reveals the many contributions made by daring solo dancers from the dawn of the twentieth century through today. In doing so, it explores many important statements these soloists made regarding topics such as freedom, personal space, individuality, and gender in the modern era.

Claudia Gitelman is associate professor emerita at Rutgers University. Her most recent book is The Returns of Alwin Nikolais: Bodies, Boundaries and the Dance Canon, coedited with Randy Martin. Barbara Palfy was founding editor of Studies in Dance History and is an associate editor of other important dance journals.

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"Addresses substantive questions and illuminates the ongoing significance of solo dance as an aspect of modern dance history." Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries

"On Stage Alone is broad in its scope…a welcome addition to dance literature." Michelle Potter On Dancing (blog)

“The value of this book lies in contemplating the solo dance form, but even more importantly in describing artists about whom there is scant research and recognition… On Stage Alone is a welcome addition to bring needed attention to artists who have slipped through some of the cracks in ‘dance history’” Attitude: the Dancers' magazine

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