Hooray! With Researching Dance: Evolving Modes of Inquiry, dance scholars and students have the sorely needed text book to address the "unified field of dance" noted by editors Fraleigh and Hanstein. The vision to provide a text that addresses various sub-fields of dance scholarship is wonderfully developed. Its well-researched chapters engagingly written by respected experts provide both data and stimulating ideas for thought, discussion, and further research.
In Researching Dance, an introduction to research methods in dance addressed primarily to graduate students, the editors explore dance as evolutional, defining it in view of its intrinsic participatory values, its developmental aspects, and its purposes from art to ritual, and they examine the role of theory in research. The editors have also included essays by nine dancer-scholars who examine qualitative and quantitative inquiry and delineate the most common approaches for investigating dance, raising concerns about philosophy and aesthetics, historical scholarship, movement analysis, sexual and gender identification, cultural diversity, and the resources available to students. The writers have included study questions, research exercises, and suggested readings to facilitate the book’s use as a classroom text.
A valuable contribution to the dance field, especially useful for students taking a research methodology course. This text is much needed: there is nothing comparable in our field, and some of the methodologies included in this volume are here articulated for the dance field for the first time.
Interesting and valuable information about scholarly research and research in the field of dance in particular. The text is unique in that it separates and defines so clearly the individual modal characteristics of each of the styles of research.
Finally, a comprehensive and easy to read text that explains clearly the myriad approaches to dance research, and demystifies the process of scholarly writing about dance. Professional resaerchers as well as students will benefit greatly from this book no matter what aspect of dance they are writing about. Researching Dance should be required reading for every college and university dance student.
Sondra Horton Fraleigh chairs the Department of Dance at the State University of New York, Brockport. She is the author of Dance and the Lived Body and co-editor (with Penelope Hanstein) of Researching Dance: Evolving Modes of Inquiry. Her articles have been published in texts on dance and movement, philosophy, and cognitive development. She has been a guest teacher of dance and somatic therapy in America, Japan, England, and Norway. She has served as president of the Congress of Research in Dance and is a Faculty Exchange Scholar for the State University of New York. Her innovative choreography has been seen on tour in America, Germany, and Japan, where she has also been a visiting scholar at several universities.
Penelope Hanstein is professor and director for dance at Texas Woman’s University and for several summers has been a visiting professor at Teacher’s College, Columbia University. She has written many articles on the nature of art making in dance and choreography theory, was named the 1995 National Dance Association Scholar, and is a past president of the Congress on Research in Dance.