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How Can We Know the Dance from the Dance?: Exploring the Complexity of Staging Dance Legacy Works

Elizabeth McPherson


Staging works from our rich concert dance heritage relies on determining what the “real” dance is, particularly when the work is no longer currently performed. Because choreographers frequently alter their choreography, creating multiple versions of a dance, identification of a definitive version can be a complex process. Adding to the complexity, there is the involvement of the stager, performers, and the audience who are each active or passive participants in the ultimate performance of a work. Through conversations with prominent stagers, scholarly discourse, and personal experience, the author investigates some of the key concerns and questions regarding staging dance legacy works in concert dance.


staging; heritage; identification; conversations; legacy

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