Movable Pillars traces the development of dance as scholarly inquiry over the course of the 20th century, and describes the social-political factors that facilitated a surge of interest in dance research in the period following World War II. This surge was reflected in the emergence of six key dance organizations: the American Dance Guild, the Congress on Research in Dance, the American Dance Therapy Association, the American College Dance Festival Association, the Dance Critics Association, and the Society of Dance History Scholars. Kolcio argues that their founding between the years 1956 and 1978 marked a new period of collective action in dance and is directly related to the inclusion of moving bodies in scholarly research and the ways in which dance studies interfaces with other fields such as feminist studies, critical research methods, and emancipatory education. An impeccable work of archival scholarship and interpretive history, Movable Pillars features nineteen interviews with dance luminaries who were intimately involved in the early years of each group. This is the first book to focus on the founding of these professional organizations and constitutes a major contribution to the understanding of the development of dance in American higher education.
KATJA KOLCIO is an associate professor of dance at Wesleyan University.