Transforming City Spaces and Subjects

  • Valerie A. Briginshaw


During the nineties the city as a paradigm example of postmodern construction became the focus of considerable attention (see for example Clarke, 1997; Lefebvre, 1996; Pile, 1996; Watson and Gibson, 1995). The use of cities as settings for postmodern dance, in live site specific performances and in dance films and videos, was prevalent in the late eighties and early nineties.1 This chapter examines one European and one British postmodern dance video; Muurwerk (1987), choreographed and performed by Roxanne Huilmand and directed by Wolfgang Kolb; and Step in Time Girls (1988) choreographed by Yolande Snaith and directed by Terry Braun. Both use the city as a setting for female solos. Following the French post-Marxist theorist Henri Lefebvre, who proposes, ‘each living body is space and has space: it produces itself in space and it also produces that space’ (1991: 170), I examine how the city spaces and the dancing bodies mutually construct each other and the role gender plays. The city is a particular kind of constructed space and its construction is inextricably bound up with constructions of subjectivity. ‘To the extent that the inhabitant of the (post)modern city is no longer a subject apart from his or her performances, the border between self and city has become fluid’ (Patton in Watson and Gibson, 1995: 117–18).


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Copyright information

© Valerie A. Briginshaw 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Valerie A. Briginshaw
    • 1
  1. 1.University of ChichesterUK

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