A new exploration of how digital media assert the relevance of dance in a wired world
How has the Internet changed dance? Dance performances can now be seen anywhere, can be looped endlessly at user whim, and can integrate crowds in unprecedented ways. Dance practices are evolving to explore these new possibilities. In Perpetual Motion, Harmony Bench argues that dance is a vital part of civil society and a means for building participation and community. She looks at how, after 9/11, it became a crucial way of recuperating the common character of public spaces. She explores how crowdsourcing dance contributes to the project of performing a common world, as well as the social relationships forged when we look at dance as a gift in the era of globalization. Throughout, she asks how dance brings people together in digital spaces and what dance’s digital travels might mean for how we experience and express community.
From original research on dance today to political economies of digital media to the philosophy of dance, Perpetual Motion provides an ambitious, invigorating look at a commonly shared practice.
Harmony Bench is associate professor in the Department of Dance at The Ohio State University. Her writing has been published in The Oxford Handbook of Dance and the Popular Screen, Choreographies of 21st Century War, and Dance on Its Own Terms: Histories and Methodologies.
"In Perpetual Motion, Harmony Bench achieves a stunning tour de force rendering of dance created for internet distribution. Reading the digitized bodies-in-motion as the basis for a twenty-first century common, she constructs essential theoretical models for considering asymmetrical access to dance, travel, the technologies of digital production, and modes of global distribution. A crucial offering for dance studies."—Thomas F. DeFrantz, former president, Society of Dance History Scholars
"How does dance move through digital cultures and how do digital cultures move through dance? Perpetual Motion explores acts of transfer among and across on-screen and off-screen bodies that manifest as dance. A highly skilled dance scholar and a precise and accessible writer, Harmony Bench reads embodied, screenal entanglements as a matter of performative commoning and offers both historical perspective and immediate experience of mediatic, danced, choreographic, and spectatorial encounters."—Rebecca Schneider, Brown University
"With an unmatched skill at plain-language engagement with dense philosophical problems, Bench lays out a wide-ranging case for the radical possibilities inherent in the online dissemination of even the corniest dances, while avoiding neoliberal language of democratization and universality."—Performance Research
"This book is a rewarding way to further study dance in the digital age, with deep considerations of access and distribution, and explorations of what technology means for audience engagement, collaboration and more."—Dance Teacher