Labor and Aesthetics in European Contemporary Dance: Dancing Precarity (Hardcover)

Labor and Aesthetics in European Contemporary Dance: Dancing Precarity By Annelies Van Assche Cover Image

Labor and Aesthetics in European Contemporary Dance: Dancing Precarity (Hardcover)


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This transdisciplinary study scientifically reports the way the established contemporary dance sector in Europe operates from a micro-perspective. It provides a dance scholarly and sociological interpretation of its mechanisms by coupling qualitative data (interview material, observations, logbooks, and dance performances) to theoretical insights. The book uncovers the sometimes contradicting mechanisms related to the precarious project-oriented labor and art market that determine the working and living conditions of contemporary dance artists in Europe's dance capitals Brussels and Berlin. In addition, it examines how these working and living conditions affect the work process and outcome.

From a sociological perspective, the book engages with the relevant contemporary social issue of precarity and this within the much-at-risk professional group of contemporary dance artists. In this regard, the research brings novelty within the subject area, particularly by employing a unique methodological approach. Although the research is initially set up in a specific geographical context and within a specific research population, the book offers insights into issues that affect our neoliberal society at large. The research findings show potential to make a relevant contribution with regards to precarity within dance studies and performance studies, but also labor studies and cultural sociology.

Annelies Van Assche is a Postdoctoral Assistant at the Department of Art History, Musicology, and Theater Studies at Ghent University, Belgium. She obtained a joint doctoral degree in Art Studies and Social Sciences in 2018 at Ghent University and KU Leuven, Belgium, for studying contemporary dance artists in Brussels and Berlin.
Product Details ISBN: 9783030406929
ISBN-10: 303040692X
Publisher: Palgrave MacMillan
Publication Date: June 14th, 2020
Pages: 293
Language: English