Sarah Whatley – The Spectacle of Difference – Dance and Disability on Screen

Nele Vanhaeverbeke Geen categorie Leave a Comment

Sarah Whatley is Professor of Dance and Director of the Centre for Dance Research (C-DaRE) at Coventry University. Her research is inspired by her interest in how dance artists document and publish their choreographic thinking in different modes, and how audiences become co-creators in art making practices.
Her focus is on:
– Dance and new technologies
– Dance analysis
– Somatic dance practice and pedagogy
– Inclusive dance practices


“The Spectacle of Difference’ contributes to an emerging scholarly discourse that attempts to position screendance as a unique practice that grows out of the visual arts, dance and film, and the critical frameworks that shape these practices.”

In the past years, the way in which disabled dancers appear in performance and are represented through performance has been the subject of discussion and raises some questions. Some writers have drawn attention to how disabled performers challenge dominant views of disability as variously standing for less than, as diminished, and as equated with loss. These writings have stimulated further thought about how audiences view and form judgments about disability in performance as well as how disability presents useful challenges to the prevailing dance aesthetic.
The focus for this essay is dance and disability on screen, which might raise different questions about how the viewer encounters and experiences disability, about the communion between viewer and screen and which also gives rise to a spectacular event: the spectacle of difference.

Essay: Sarah Whatley – The spectacle of Difference

Whatley, S. (2010)
The Spectacle of Difference; Dance and Disability on Screen.
The International Journal of Screendance, volume 1 (1): 41- 52

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