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date: 08 July 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter takes an approach grounded in feminist phenomenology to consider the work of four screendance filmmakers: Maya Deren, Yvonne Rainer, Amy Greenfield, and Sally Potter. With particular attention given to Deren’s Meshes of the Afternoon and Greenfield’s Tides, the chapter contends that their creative practice is grounded in a cinema of the body, attempting to create ritualistic and creative-art form/experiences showing emotion and transcendence through the body. In contrast, Rainer’s Lives of Performers, influenced by a poststructuralist distrust of language and narrative, uses film as an alienation technique, even with regard to screendance, in order to dissect rather than indulge in emotions and affect. Potter’s The Tango Lesson attempts to bridge the gap between these two approaches. However, particularly in terms of their desire to not evoke a cathartic response and elicit kinesthetic identification, all four are inspired by a similar feminist sensibility.

Keywords: feminist, phenomenology, kinesthetic, Maya Deren, Amy Greenfield, Yvonne Rainier, Sally Potter, screendance, alienation technique

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