Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
This page features books written or edited by UCI Faculty within the last five years that discuss performing and visual arts.
Acting professionally : raw facts about careers in acting by Becoming an actor requires a lot more than just a desire to break into the business. This text will steer you through the hugely competitive industry of stage, film and TV acting, offering wise advice on everything from writing an eye-catching resume to finding yourself an agent. It will give you a clear understanding of how acting careers are built and sustained, and how actors must position themselves in an environment overseen by directors, agents, casting directors and acting unions.
Ballet Matters: a cultural memoir of dance dreams and empowering realities by Part memoir, part dance history and ethnography, this critical study explores ballet’s power to inspire and to embody ideas about politics, race, women’s agency, and spiritual experience.
The author knows that dance relates to life in powerful individual and communal ways, reflecting culture and embodying new ideas. Although ballet can appear (and sometimes is) elite and exclusionary, it also has revolutionary potential.
Brahms's Elegies: the poetics of loss in nineteenth-century German culture by Nicole Grimes provides a compellingly fresh perspective on a series of Brahms's elegiac works by bringing together the disciplines of historical musicology, German studies, and cultural history. Her exploration of the expressive potential of Schicksalslied, N©Þnie, Gesang der Parzen, and the Vier ernste Ges©Þnge reveals the philosophical weight of this music. She considers the German tradition of the poetics of loss that extends from the late-eighteenth-century texts by H©œlderlin, Schiller and Goethe set by Brahms, and includes other philosophical and poetic works present in his library, to the mid-twentieth-century aesthetics of Adorno, who was preoccupied as much by Brahms as by their shared literary heritage. Her multifaceted focus on endings - the end of tonality, the end of the nineteenth century, and themes of loss in the music - illuminates our understanding of Brahms and lateness, and the place of Brahms in the fabric of modernist culture
György Ligeti's Cultural Identities by Since György Ligeti’s death in 2006, there has been a growing acknowledgement of how central he was to the late twentieth-century cultural landscape. This collection is the first book devoted to exploring the composer’s life and music within the context of his East European roots, revealing his dual identities as both Hungarian national and cosmopolitan modernist. Contributors explore the artistic and socio-cultural contexts of Ligeti’s early works, including composition and music theory, the influence of East European folk music, notions of home and identity, his ambivalent attitude to his Hungarian past and his references to his homeland in his later music. Many of the valuable insights offered profit from new research undertaken at the Paul Sacher Foundation, Basel, while also drawing on the knowledge of long-time associates such as the composer’s assistant, Louise Duchesneau. The contributions as a whole reveal Ligeti’s thoroughly cosmopolitan milieu and values, and illuminate why his music continues to inspire new generations of performers, composers and listeners.
Intermedial Theater by This book explores relationships between intermedial theater, consciousness, memory, objects, subjectivity, and affect through productive engagement with the performance aesthetics, socio-cognitive theory, and critical methodology of transversal poetics alongside other leading philosophical approaches to performance. It offers the first sustained analysis of the work of Gilles Deleuze, Felix Guattari, Jean Baudrillard, and Friedrich Nietzsche in relation to the contemporary European theater of Jan Lauwers and Needcompany, Romeo Castellucci and Societas Raffaello Sanzio, Thomas Ostermeier, Rodrigo Garcia and La Carniceria Teatro, and the Transversal Theater Company. It connects contemporary uses of objects, simulacra, and technologies in both posthumanist discourse and postdramatic theater to the transhistorically and culturally mediating power of Shakespeare as a means by which to discuss the affective impact of intermedial theater on today's audiences.
Jay Pather, Performance, and Spatial Politics in South Africa by Jay Pather, Performance and Spatial Politics in South Africa offers the first full-length monograph on the award-winning choreographer, theater director, curator, and creative artist in contemporary global performance. Working within the contexts of African studies, dance, theater, and performance, Ketu H. Katrak explores the extent of Pather's productive career but also places him and his work in the South African and global arts scene, where he is considered a visionary. Pather, a South African of Indian heritage, is known as a master of space, site, and location. Katrak examines how Pather's performance practices place him in the center of global trends that are interdisciplinary, multidisciplinary, collaborative, and multimedia and that cross borders between dance, theater, visual art, and technology. Jay Pather, Performance and Spatial Politics in South Africa offers a vision of an artist who is strategically aware of the spatiality of human life, who understands the human body as the nation's collective history, and who is a symbol of hope and resilience after the trauma of violent segregation
La Meri and Her Life in Dance by This intriguing biography details the life and work of world dance pioneer La Meri (1899–1988). An American dancer, choreographer, teacher, and writer, La Meri was ahead of her time in championing cross-cultural dance performances and education, yet she is almost totally forgotten today. In La Meri and Her Life in Dance, Nancy Ruyter introduces readers to a visionary artist who played a pivotal role in dance history.
Born in Texas as Russell Meriwether Hughes, La Meri toured throughout Latin America, Europe, Asia, the Pacific, and the United States in the 1920s and ’30s, immersing herself in different dance traditions at a time when few American dancers explored styles outside their own. She learned about Indian dance culture from the celebrated Uday Shankar, studied belly dancing with the Moroccan sultan’s top dancer, and took flamenco lessons in Spain. La Meri spread awareness and enjoyment of the world’s myriad forms of expression before it was common for performing artists from these countries to tour internationally.
Ruyter describes how La Meri founded the Ethnologic Dance Center in New York City, choreographed innovative works based on various dance cultures for Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival and other venues, and wrote widely on the styles and techniques of international dance genres. This long-overdue book illustrates that the popularity of world dance today owes much to the trailblazing efforts of La Meri.
Merce Cunningham: After the Arbitrary by One of the most influential choreographers of the twentieth century, Merce Cunningham is known for introducing chance to dance. Far too often, however, accounts of Cunningham’s work have neglected its full scope, focusing on his collaborations with the visionary composer John Cage or insisting that randomness was the singular goal of his choreography. In this book, the first dedicated to the complete arc of Cunningham’s career, Carrie Noland brings new insight to this transformative artist’s philosophy and work, providing a fresh perspective on his artistic process while exploring aspects of his choreographic practice never studied before.
Examining a rich and previously unseen archive that includes photographs, film footage, and unpublished writing by Cunningham, Noland counters prior understandings of Cunningham’s influential embrace of the unintended, demonstrating that Cunningham in fact set limits on the role chance played in his dances. Drawing on Cunningham’s written and performed work, Noland reveals that Cunningham introduced variables before the chance procedure was applied and later shaped and modified the chance results. Chapters explore his relation not only to Cage, but also Marcel Duchamp, Robert Rauschenberg, James Joyce, and Bill T. Jones. Ultimately, Noland shows that Cunningham approached movement as more than “movement in itself,” and that his work enacted archetypal human dramas. This remarkable book will forever change our appreciation of the choreographer’s work and legacy.
The Methuen Drama Handbook of Interculturalism and Performance by The Methuen Drama Handbook of Interculturalism and Performance explores ground-breaking new directions and critical discourse in the field of intercultural theatre and performance while surveying key debates concerning interculturalism as an aesthetic and ethical series of encounters in theatre and performance from the 1960s onwards. The handbook's global coverage challenges understandings of intercultural theatre and performance that continue to prioritise case studies emerging primarily from the West and executed by elite artists. By building on a growing field of scholarship on intercultural theatre and performance that examines minoritarian and grassroots work, the volume offers an alternative and multi-vocal view of what interculturalism might offer as a theoretical keyword to the future of theatre and performance studies, while also contributing an energized reassessment of the vociferous debates that have long accompanied its critical and practical usage in a performance context. By exploring anew what happens when interculturalism and performance intersect as embodied practice, The Methuen Drama Handbook of Interculturalism and Performance offers new perspectives on a seminal theoretical concept still as useful as it is controversial. Featuring a series of indispensable research tools, including a fully annotated bibliography, this is the essential scholarly handbook for anyone working in intercultural theatre and performance, and performance studies.
The Physical Actor: contact improvisation from studio to stage by The Physical Actor is a comprehensive book of exercises for actors. It is carefully designed for the development of a strong and flexible physical body able to move with ease through space and interact instinctively on-stage. Annie Loui draws on her training with Etienne Decroux, Carolyn Carlson, and Jerzy Grotowski to bring Contact Improvisation into the theatrical sphere. She explains how it can be used to develop alert and embodied listening skills in the actor, and how to apply it to working with texts on stage. This book will guide the reader through a full course of movement skills, including: - Partnering skills - Spatial awareness for groups and individuals - Fine motor control through mime - Heightened co-ordination and sustained motion New for this edition are additional partnering exercises, in-depth applications of contact improvisation to monologues and scenes, and a chapter on devising physical theatre performances
Stravinsky in the Americas by Stravinsky in the Americas explores the "pre-Craft" period of Igor Stravinsky's life, from when he first landed on American shores in 1925 to the end of World War II in 1945. Through a rich archival trove of ephemera, correspondence, photographs, and other documents, eminent musicologist H. Colin Slim examines the twenty-year period which began with Stravinsky as a radical European art-music composer and ended with him as a popular figure in American culture. This collection traces Stravinsky's rise to fame--catapulted in large part by his collaborations with Hollywood and Disney and marked by his extra-marital affairs, his grappling with feelings of anti-Semitism, and his encounters with contemporary musicians as the music industry was emerging and taking shape in midcentury America. Slim's lively narrative records the composer's larger-than-life persona through a close look at his transatlantic tours and domestic excursions, where Stravinsky's personal and professional life collided in often dramatic ways
Thinking in Character or, Knocking on Hamlet's Door by Thinking in Character or Knocking on Hamlet's Door" is a fine-tuned, detailed approach to character building. Using "thought," or subtext, to shepherd the actor towards depth and nuance, Richard Brestoff brings a wealth of teaching experience and keen insights to bear on characters ranging from Ibsen's "Doll's House" to Shakespeare's most challenging protagonists. With lucid descriptions and absorbing ideas, Brestoff's skills in acting and dramaturgy combine to make this book an essential and thought-provoking text.
Algebraic Art, Department of English by Algebraic Art explores the invention of a peculiarly Victorian account of the nature and value of aesthetic form, and it traces that account to a surprising source: mathematics. The nineteenth century was a moment of extraordinary mathematical innovation, witnessing the development of non-Euclidean geometry, the revaluation of symbolic algebra, and the importation of mathematical language into philosophy. All these innovations sprang from a reconception of mathematics as a formal rather than a referential practice--as a means for describing relationships rather than quantities. For Victorian mathematicians, the value of a claim lay not in its capacity to describe the world but its internal coherence. This concern with formal structure produced a striking convergence between mathematics and aesthetics: geometers wrote fables, logicians reconceived symbolism, and physicists described reality as consisting of beautiful patterns.
Artists, meanwhile, drawing upon the cultural prestige of mathematics, conceived their work as a 'science' of form, whether as lines in a painting, twinned characters in a novel, or wavelike stress patterns in a poem. Avant-garde photographs and paintings, fantastical novels like Flatland and Lewis Carroll's children's books, and experimental poetry by Swinburne, Rossetti, and Patmore created worlds governed by a rigorous internal logic even as they were pointedly unconcerned with reference or realist protocols. Algebraic Art shows that works we tend to regard as outliers to mainstream Victorian culture were expressions of a mathematical formalism that was central to Victorian knowledge production and that continues to shape our understanding of the significance of form.
Arts Integration in Diverse K-5 Classrooms by This practical resource emphasizes the special contribution that visual art, drama, music, and dance can make to student literacy and understanding of content-area reading assignments. Focusing on those areas where students tend to struggle, this book helps K-5 teachers provide an age-appropriate curriculum that is accessible to an increasingly diverse student population but does not ignore other important aspects of healthy human development. Without detracting from the rigor of a demanding curriculum, the author demonstrates how arts integration allows students to engage with concepts on their own developmental level. Each chapter focuses on a skill set that is fundamental to literacy development, suggests age-appropriate arts integration activities that will build that skill, and offers guidance for fostering a sense of community
Black Masculinity and the Cinema of Policing by This book offers a critical survey of film and media representations of black masculinity in the early twenty-first-century United States, between President George W. Bush’s 2001 announcement of the War on Terror and President Barack Obama’s 2009 acceptance of the Nobel Peace Prize. It argues that images of black masculine authority have become increasingly important to the legitimization of contemporary policing and its leading role in the maintenance of an antiblack social order forged by racial slavery and segregation. It examines a constellation of film and television productions—from Antoine Fuqua’s Training Day to John Lee Hancock’s The Blind Side to Barry Jenkin's Moonlight—to illuminate the contradictory dynamics at work in attempts to reconcile the promotion of black male patriarchal empowerment and the preservation of gendered antiblackness within political and popular culture.
The Iranian Expanse by The Iranian Expanse explores how kings in the ancient Iranian world utilized the built and natural environment--everything from royal cities and paradise gardens, to hunting enclosures and fire temples--to form and contest Iranian cultural memory, royal identity, and sacred cosmologies over a thousand years of history. Although scholars have often noted startling continuities between the traditions of the Achaemenids and the art and architecture of medieval or Early Modern Islam, the tumultuous millennium between Alexander and Islam has routinely been downplayed or omitted. The Iranian Expanse delves into this fascinating period, examining royal culture and identity as something built and shaped by strategic changes to architectonic and urban spaces and the landscape of Western Asia. Canepa shows how the Seleucids, Arsacids, and Sasanians played a transformative role in developing a new Iranian royal culture that deeply influenced not only early Islam, but also the wider Persianate world of the Il-Khans, Safavids, Timurids, and Mughals.
Louise Brigham and the Early History of Sustainable Furniture Design by During the Progressive Era, a time when the field of design was dominated almost entirely by men, a largely forgotten activist and teacher named Louise Brigham became a pioneer of sustainable furniture design. With her ingenious system for building inexpensive but sturdy “box furniture” out of recycled materials, she aimed to bring good design to the urban working class. As Antoinette LaFarge shows, Brigham forged a singular career for herself that embraced working in the American and European settlement movements, publishing a book of box furniture designs, running carpentry workshops in New York, and founding a company that offered some of the earliest ready-to-assemble furniture in the United States. Her work was a resounding critique of capitalism’s waste and an assertion of new values in design―values that stand at the heart of today’s open and green design movements.
Making Sense by In Making Sense, Simon Penny proposes that internalist conceptions of cognition have minimal purchase on embodied cognitive practices. Much of the cognition involved in arts practices remains invisible under such a paradigm. Penny argues that the mind-body dualism of Western humanist philosophy is inadequate for addressing performative practices. Ideas of cognition as embodied and embedded provide a basis for the development of new ways of speaking about the embodied and situated intelligences of the arts. Penny argues this perspective is particularly relevant to media arts practices.
Penny takes a radically interdisciplinary approach, drawing on philosophy, biology, psychology, cognitive science, neuroscience, cybernetics, artificial intelligence, critical theory, and other fields. He argues that computationalist cognitive rhetoric, with its assumption of mind-body (and software-hardware) dualism, cannot account for the quintessentially performative qualities of arts practices. He reviews post-cognitivist paradigms including situated, distributed, embodied, and enactive, and relates these to discussions of arts and cultural practices in general.
Penny emphasizes the way real time computing facilitates new modalities of dynamical, generative and interactive arts practices. He proposes that conventional aesthetics (of the plastic arts) cannot address these new forms and argues for a new “performative aesthetics.” Viewing these practices from embodied, enactive, and situated perspectives allows us to recognize the embodied and performative qualities of the “intelligences of the arts.”
Mannequins in Museums by "Mannequins in Museums is a collection of historical and contemporary case studies that examine how mannequins are presented in exhibitions and shows that, as objects used for storytelling, they are not neutral objects. Demonstrating that mannequins have long histories of being used to promote colonialism, consumerism, and racism, the book shows how these histories inform their use. It also engages readers in a conversation about how historical narratives are expressed in museums through mannequins as surrogate forms. Written by a select group of curators and art historians, the volume provides insight into a variety of museum contexts, including art, history, fashion, anthropology and wax. Drawing on exhibition case studies from North America, South Africa, and Europe, each chapter discusses the pedagogical and aesthetic stakes involved in representing racial difference and cultural history through mannequins. As a whole, the book will assist readers to understand the history of mannequins and their contemporary use as culturally relevant objects. Mannequins in Museums will be compelling reading for academics and students in the fields of museum studies, art history, public history, anthropology and visual and cultural studies. It should also be essential reading for museum professionals who are interested in rethinking mannequin display techniques"
The Moving Eye by Once the province of film and media scholars, today the moving image is of broad concern to historians of art and architecture and designers of everything from websites to cities. As museums and galleries devote increasing space to video installations which no longer presuppose a fixed viewer, urban space becomes envisioned and planned through "fly throughs," and technologies such as GPS add data to the experience of travel, moving images have captured the attention of geographers and scholars across the humanities and social sciences. Their practice of "mobility studies" is remaking how we understand a contemporary world in relentless motion. Media theorist and historian Anne Friedberg (1952-2009) was among the first practitioners of visual studies to theorize the experience of vision in motion. Although widely influential beyond her own discipline, Friedberg's work has never been the subject of an extended study. The Moving Eye: Film, Television, Architecture, Visual Art and the Modern gathers together essays by renowned thinkers in media studies, art history, architecture, and museum studies to consider the rich implications of her work for understanding film and video, new media, visual art, architecture, exhibition design, urban space, and virtual reality. Ranging from early cinema, to works by Le Corbusier, Sergei Eisenstein, Gordon Matta-Clark, and Pierre Huyghe, to theories of the image in motion informed by psychoanalysis, theories of the public sphere, and animal studies, each of the nine essays in the book advances the lines of inquiry commenced by Friedberg
Personal Stereo by When the Sony Walkman debuted in 1979, people were enthralled by the novel experience it offered: immersion in the music of their choice, anytime, anywhere. But the Walkman was also denounced as self-indulgent and antisocial-the quintessential accessory for the "me" generation. In Personal Stereo, Rebecca Tuhus-Dubrow takes us back to the birth of the device, exploring legal battles over credit for its invention, its ambivalent reception in 1980s America, and its lasting effects on social norms and public space. Ranging from postwar Japan to the present, Tuhus-Dubrow tells an illuminating story about our emotional responses to technological change.
Publication Date: 2017-09-07
Sight, Touch, and Imagination in Byzantium by Considering the interrelations between sight, touch, and imagination, this book surveys classical, late antique, and medieval theories of vision to elaborate on how various spheres of the Byzantine world categorized and comprehended sensation and perception. Revisiting scholarly assumptions about the tactility of sight in the Byzantine world, it demonstrates how the haptic language associated with vision referred to the cognitive actions of the viewer as they grasped sensory data in the mind in order to comprehend and produce working imaginations of objects for thought and memory. At stake is how the affordances and limitations of the senses came to delineate and cultivate the manner in which art and rhetoric was understood as mediating the realities they wished to convey. This would similarly come to contour how Byzantine religious culture could also go about accessing the sacred, the image serving as a site of desire for the mediated representation of the divine
Vicious Circuits: Korea's IMF cinema and the end of the American century by In December of 1997, the International Monetary Fund announced the largest bailout package in its history, aimed at stabilizing the South Korean economy in response to a credit and currency crisis of the same year. Vicious Circuits examines what it terms "Korea's IMF Cinema," the decade of cinema following that crisis, in order to think through the transformations of global political economy at the end of the American century. It argues that one of the most dominant traits of the cinema that emerged after the worst economic crisis in the history of South Korea was its preoccupation with economic phenomena. As the quintessentially corporate art form—made as much in the boardroom as in the studio—film in this context became an ideal site for thinking through the global political economy in the transitional moment of American decline and Chinese ascension. With an explicit focus of state economic policy, IMF cinema did not just depict the economy; it also was this economy's material embodiment. That is, it both represented economic developments and was itself an important sector in which the same pressures and changes affecting the economy at large were at work. Joseph Jonghyun Jeon's window on Korea provides a peripheral but crucial perspective on the operations of late US hegemony and the contradictions that ultimately corrode it.