‘Carnivalesque’ Subversions in Mark Morris’ Dogtown, Liz Aggiss’ Grotesque Dancer and Emilyn Claid’s Across Your Heart
Whereas the previous chapter focused on the mystical qualities of folded and fluid flesh, this one considers the grotesque potential of transgressive bodies in Dogtown (Morris, 1983), Grotesque Dancer (Aggiss and Cowie, 1987, revived 1998) and Across Your Heart (Claid, 1997). These dances, although quite different from each other, share carnivalesque grotesque qualities. On one level they seem either funny or disturbing, or perhaps both, but I argue that they go further than this. Using the Russian literary critic Mikhail Bakhtin’s theories of the carnivalesque, I show that these works, by transgressing and exceeding the traditional inside/outside boundaries of the body, can be subversive and suggest ways of rethinking subjectivity.
KeywordsBinary Opposition Rubber Glove Folk Culture Nursery Rhyme Horror Movie
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