Dancers as Diplomats: American Choreography in Cultural Exchange
- Clare Croft, Assistant Professor of Dance, University of Michigan
Anita Gonzalez, Professor of Theatre & Drama, University of Michigan
Peggy McCracken, Domna C. Stanton Collegiate Professor of French, Women's Studies, and Comparative Literature, University of Michigan
Dancers as Diplomats chronicles the role of dance and dancers in American cultural diplomacy. In the early decades of the Cold War and the twenty-first century, American dancers toured the globe on tours sponsored by the US State Department. These tours shaped and sometimes re-imagined ideas of the United States in unexpected, often sensational circumstances--pirouetting in Moscow as the Cuban Missile Crisis unfolded and dancing in Burma shortly before the country held its first democratic elections.
Based on more than seventy interviews with dancers who traveled on the tours from the early decades of the Cold War through the post 9/11 era, the book looks at a wide range of American dance companies, among them New York City Ballet, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, the Martha Graham Dance Company, Urban Bush Women, ODC/Dance, Ronald K. Brown/Evidence, and the Trey McIntyre Project, among others.
Book signing and sales to follow the panel discussion.