- The Oxford Handbook of Dance and the Popular Screen
- List of Contributors
- About the Companion Website
- Introduction: Dance on Screen
- An Australian in Paris: Techno-Choreographic Bohemianism in Moulin Rouge!
- A Different Kind of Ballet: Rereading Dorothy Arzner’s Dance, Girl, Dance
- Communities of Practice: Active and Affective Viewing of Early Social Dance on the Popular Screen
- Disciplining Black Swan, Animalizing Ambition
- Gene Kelly: The Original, Updated
- Appreciation, Appropriation, Assimilation: Stormy Weather and the Hollywood History of Black Dance
- Hip-Hop in Hollywood: Encounter, Community, Resistance
- Dirty Dancing: Dance, Class, and Race in the Pursuit of Womanhood
- Displace and be Queen: Gender and Interculturalism in Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights (2004)
- “It’s Sort of ‘Members Only’”: Transgression and Body Politics in Save the Last Dance
- “The White Girl in the Middle”: The Performativity of Race, Class, and Gender in Step Up 2: the Streets
- Affect-ive moves: Space, Violence, and the Body in Rize’s Krump Dancing
- A Taste of Honey: Choreographing Mulatta in the Hollywood Dance Film
- “He’s Doing His Superman Thing Again”: Moving Bodies in the Matrix
- Girl Power, Real Politics: Dis/Respectability, Post-Raciality, and the Politics of Inclusion
- Denaturalizing Coco’s “Sexy” Hips: Contradictions and Reversals of the Dancing Body of a Chinese American superstar in Mandarin Pop
- Single Ladies, Plural: Racism, Scandal, and “Authenticity” Within the Multiplication and Circulation of Online Dance Discourses
- The Dance Factor: Hip-Hop, Spectacle, and Reality Television
- Defining Dance, Creating Commodity: The Rhetoric of So you Think You Can Dance
- Hatchets and Hairbrushes: Dance, Gender, and Improvisational Ingenuity in Cold War Western Musicals
- Some Dance Scenes From Cuban Cinema, 1959–2012
- “Shine Your Light on the World”: The Utopian Bodies of Dave Chappelle’s Block Party
- Of Snake Dances, Overseas Brides, and Miss World Pageants: Frolicking Through Gurinder Chadha’s Bride and Prejudice
- Monstrous Belonging: Performing “Thriller” After 9/11
- Dancing “Between the Break Beats”: Contemporary Indigenous Thought and Cultural Expression through Hip-Hop
- Dancing with Myself: Dance Central, Choreography, and Embodiment
- Values in Motion: Reflections on Popular Screen Dance
Abstract and Keywords
This chapter argues that throughout the film, Dirty Dancing, Francis “Baby” Houseman’s dancing allows her to embody normative femininity and achieve sexualized womanhood. This gendered coming of age is made possible through her performance of racially marked dance forms such as the mambo. Placing Dirty Dancing in dialogue with the socio-cultural milieu of the early 1960s, the time period in which the film is set, as well as with the 1980s, the period of the film’s production, this chapter analyzes how the filming, narrative, and dancing intersect to produce Baby’s ascent to adulthood. To visually present this process, different types of camera shots highlight emotion, the work of dance, and sexuality. Through editing, the dancing scenes and bodies are further fragmented. Borrowing associations between romance and dance from film musicals, this dance film presents characters exceeding the boundaries of narrowly defined cultural identities based on class and ethnicity.
Colleen Dunagan, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Dance at California State University, Long Beach. Her research on dance aesthetics and Susanne Langer’s concept of the virtual appears in Topoi: An International Journal of Philosophy. Dunagan’s writing on dance in television advertising and film has appeared in Dance Research Journal and The International Journal of Arts in Society. She has co-authored essays with Roxane Fenton that are forthcoming in The Oxford Handbook of Dance and the Popular Screen and Movies, Moves, and Music: The Sonic World of Dance Film. Currently, she is working on a book manuscript that analyzes the discourse of dance within television commercials.
Roxane Fenton received her Ph.D. in Dance History and Theory from the University of California, Riverside. Her previous research examined figure skating in American media and popular culture. With collaborator Colleen Dunagan, she currently writes about dance in film, and her further research examines movement and discourses of hypervirtuosity in Hollywood action and science fiction films. Roxane is a member of the dance area Editorial Advisory Board for the Routledge Encyclopedia of Modernism. Roxane Fenton is on the dance at Santa Ana College and at California State University, Long Beach.
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