Balance, Flow, and Space
Indiana University Bloomington
Balance, Flow, and Space: Michel Fokine, Henri Matisse, Argentine Tango, Balinese Dance
Dedalus 22-23 (2018-2019), pp. 237-263. Download PDF
The ways in which choreographers, genres, cultures, and visual artists define balance, organize the flow of movement, and sculpt bodies in space is the topic of this essay. The Russian ballet of Mikhail Fokine, Argentine tango, Balinese dance and the artistic vision of Henri Matisse all provide illustrations of how form is embodied in balance flow, and space. In particular, these examples share a similar aesthetic which is based on unconventional phrase length, off-center placement, and unorthodox use of space.
Russian ballet, Argentine tango, Balinese dance, Henri Matisse, embodied knowledge, cultural conventions, flow, space, balance, stillness, asymmetry, clowns
Anya Peterson Royce, Chancellor’s Professor of Anthropology and Comparative Literature, Indiana University and Adjunct Professor, University of Limerick, has worked with the Isthmus Zapotec of Juchitán, Oaxaca since 1968 on topics that range from identity to the arts, to death, to the ways in which Zapotec artists mentor the next generations and promote the arts to global audiences. She is equally well-known for her research and writing about the performing arts and prefers classrooms in theatres, studios, and museums that allow for workshops and performances. Anya Peterson Royce is the author of The Anthropology of Dance (two editions: Indiana University Press, 1977 and Dance Books Ltd, 2015), Becoming an Ancestor: The Isthmus Zapotec Way of Death (State University of New York Press, 2011) and Ethnic Identity: Strategies and Diversity (Indiana University Press, 1982).