Alexandra is Reader in Dance at Middlesex University in London. Previous appointments include Senior Lecturer and Chair of Dance Studies at the University of Otago in New Zealand. She received her doctorate from the University of Cambridge and trained professionally in dance in Düsseldorf and at John Neumeier’s Academy of the Hamburg Ballet. She is the author of Performing Femininity: Dance and Literature in German Modernism (2009), the editor of Dance and Politics (2011), and contributor to a range of international dance and arts journals.
This significant issue of Brolga publishes eight papers from a conference held at the University of Otago in June 2010. The focus of the conference was discussion around interdisciplinary perspectives on dance that strive to both understand historical developments and to anticipate new directions of dance scholarship and performance.
This paper firstly examines theoretical perspectives on dance and disability with a discussion of the ideal dancing body and strategies for how the disabled body may reiterate or disrupt such constructions. Secondly, it presents concrete analyses of two works by Touch Compass as an illustration of the ways in which disability and the dancing body on stage are constructed through choreographic imagery and iconography.
Alex questions whether interdisciplinary collaboration must necessarily be seen as democratic and therefore desirable, or whether it could instead be viewed as a more problematic corollary of contemporary forces such as globalisation and the modern market economy.