Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 04 December 2020

Abstract and Keywords

“Improvised Dance in the Reconstruction of THEM” analyzes the 2010 re-creation of a 1986 performance conceived by Ishmael Houston-Jones, Chris Cochrane, and Dennis Cooper, which critics often cite as one of the earliest performance art responses to the AIDS crisis. Given that the work consists entirely of scored improvisations, this essay considers the politics of reconstructing an improvised dance. Drawing from dance studies as well as recent queer theory that focuses on temporality, the essay attends to the specter of the original cast from the 1980s. It argues that improvisation enabled the dancers, many of whom weren’t alive during the piece’s premiere, to explore a past that they didn’t entirely understand, while also demanding that they place themselves, literally and figuratively, in relation to that past.

Keywords: improvisation, dance, Ishmael Houston-Jones, Dennis Cooper, Chris Cochrane, queer, temporality, AIDS, performance reconstruction

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.