Louise Lecavalier: Dance, Labour, Culture (Hardcover)

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The principal dancer of the Montreal-based company La La La Human Steps from 1981 to 1999, Louise Lecavalier was the single most iconic dancer of her generation, elevating the punk ballet art form to new heights.

From a distinctly feminist angle, this critical study looks broadly at the figure of the dancer and their contributions to dance aesthetics and cultural politics. Importantly, this book prioritizes the dancer's voice and shines light on the generally unseen labour of (often women) dancers in producing the historical movements of the discipline.

From a close examination of La La La Human Steps' and Lecavalier's evolving aesthetic, to a consideration of Lecavalier's public persona as rebel, conduit and saint, this study charts her growth as a dancer and as an icon. With analysis given to her appearance as bodyguard in Kathryn Bigelow's film Strange Days (1995), and her solo piece No No No I'm Not Mary Poppins (1982), Lecavalier's work and legacy unfurls before the reader, highlighting the often-unrecognised presence of Africanist aesthetics in her company's repertoire.

With extra materials, such as images of performance and street photography as well as a letter from the renowned dancer herself, Louise Lecavalier: Labour, Fandom and Cultural Politics is a celebratory and much-needed insight into the artistic motive and dancer's perspective.

About the Author

MJ Thompson is Associate Professor at Concordia University, Canada. She has written for a wide variety of publications, including Ballettanz, Border Crossings, The Brooklyn Rail, Canadian Art, Dance Current, Dance Ink, Dance Magazine, The Drama Review, The Globe and Mail, Women and Performance, the Village Voice and more. Her academic work is funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council in Canada and her essays have appeared in several anthologies, including Performance Studies Canada (McGill-Queen's Press, 2017). Most recently, she received the National Park Services Arts and Sciences Residency, Cape Cod National Seashore, August 2019, where she worked on a long-form essay about the body in landscape. She was a Lillian S. Robinson Fellow at the Simone de Beauvoir Institute in Montreal in 2010. Her dissertation, "Impure Movement: Mundane Body Techniques in 20th Century American Choreography," (NYU 2009) was recipient of the Cynthia Jean Cohen Bull Memorial Award for Academic Excellence.

Product Details
ISBN: 9781350195202
ISBN-10: 1350195200
Publisher: Methuen Drama
Publication Date: May 15th, 2025
Pages: 224
Language: English