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Curtain Calls in Dance: Negotiating the Terms of Disengagement

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 December 2023


Through curtain calls in Eurocentric theatrical dance forms, dance artists, audience members, and staff coordinate how dance concerts end and participants disperse. Nevertheless, despite the widespread use of such practices, the rituals of bows and applause have largely eluded critical inquiry. This article offers dance practitioners choices toward thoughtfully negotiating the processes of engagement and disengagement in groups contingently assembled for dance events. A brief historical inquiry introduces how such behaviors may enact deeply embedded, power-laden agendas of relationship. Then, curtain calls are revealed as complex spaces of intersubjective negotiations, iterative of numerous possible functions at work.

Copyright © The Author(s), 2023. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of the Dance Studies Association

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