3416 Primm Lane
Birmingham, Alabama 35216
6 September 2011
Society of Dance History Scholars Announces
2010 de la Torre Bueno Prize® winner
Tap Dancing America: A Cultural History
The Society of Dance History Scholars announces the 2010 winner of the de la Torre Bueno Prize for the best English language writing on dance historiography. The Bueno Prize has been awarded annually since 1973 to the year's most distinguished book of dance scholarship. Named after José Rollins de la Torre Bueno, the first university press editor to develop a list in dance studies, the Bueno Prize has set the standard for scholarly excellence in the field for more than thirty years. Society of Dance History Scholars takes special pride in awarding the Bueno Prize for scholarship in dance. Through this prize, we recognize the particular labor and outstanding achievement that demonstrate the best of dance historiography, regardless of the era, genre, or group of dancers under scrutiny. Congratulations are due indeed, to the winner, and the special citation recipients.
The 2010 award goes to Tap Dancing America: A Cultural History by Constance Valis Hill. Special Citations have also been awarded to Dance and the Nation: Performance, Ritual, and Politics in Sri Lanka by Susan A. Reed, and Ritual, Rapture and Remorse: A Study of Tarantism and Pizzica in Salento by Jerri Daboo. A reception for the author will be hosted by the SDHS at the American Tap Dance Foundation on October 22, 2011 at 5:30pm. The event is by RSVP only, please direct inquires to email@example.com
Tap Dancing America: A Cultural History by Constance Valis Hill, Five College Professor of Dance, Hampshire College, is a ground-breaking book that analyzes tap dance as a multi-layered fusion of African, European, and American influences, embodied and transformed by generations of men and women dancing across the racial divide. With a scope of 400 years of performance history, Tap Dancing America spotlights long lost dancers, as well as celebrated ones, documenting their performances and the social, cultural, and racial contexts in which they took place, while providing a deeply informed, yet lively account of tap’s aural, rhythmic, and percussive forms. Multiple stories weave into a narrative to show how individual dancers learn from one another, mastering, revitalizing, and ultimately transmitting their art to new generations and communities. This book is certain to have a profound influence on how we think about American dance.
Dance and the Nation: Performance, Ritual, and Politics in Sri Lanka by Susan A. Reed, Associate Professor of Women's and Gender Studies and Anthropology, Bucknell University. Dance and the Nation is an important and unique monograph on Sri Lankan national dance, one that finely details and illuminates the processes of transformation from a local ritual performed by men of a hereditary caste to that of national emblematic performance, open to all castes and to women. The book is an original study in Asian dance, underpinned by extensive fieldwork over several years, critical engagement with a wide variety of sources both historical and ethnographical, and insightful reflection on the relation of grounded data to theoretical perspectives on postcolonialism, ethnic identities, politics, gender, and the aestheticization of cultural practices. Dance and dancers remain a focal point throughout, vividly represented in the high quality of the accompanying DVD, the structure and narrative of which provide a valuable model for future publications in the anthropology and history of dance.
Ritual, Rapture and Remorse: A Study of Tarantism and Pizzica in Salento by Jerri Daboo, Senior Lecturer in Drama, University of Exeter, is one of few modern studies in English of the ritual known as tarantism and the related music and dance called pizzica, originally used to cure women who claimed to have been bitten by a spider. The book focuses on Salento (in the southern Italian region of Apulia), where the ritual has been performed for centuries and where in the last twenty years it has become part of a large revival movement crossing art, popular performance, and the tourist industry. Ritual, Rapture and Remorse examines this complex phenomenon from multiple perspectives, providing a historical overview of the medical, scientific, religious, and philosophical discourses produced around tarantism in the last several centuries along with a thoughtful analysis of neo-tarantism and performances of pizzica in Salento today using the lens of performance studies. Dealing with issues such as embodiment, experience, identity, and authenticity, the book contributes new conceptual frameworks to the study of dance in relation to ritual and cultural performance.
The committee for the 2010 prize was comprised of Theresa Buckland and Susanne Franco, with Lynn Garafola as chair.
The awards will be presented at a special reception on October 22, 2011, 5:30pm at the American Tap Dance Foundation, Inc. (American Tap Dance Center, 154 Christopher Street #2B, New York, NY 10014). Please direct all inquiries and replies to firstname.lastname@example.org
SDHS was organized in 1978 as a professional network and incorporated as a non-profit organization in 1983. The society now counts among its members individuals and institutions across the globe committed to the interdiscipline of dance studies. SDHS was admitted to the American Council of Learned Societies as a constituent member in 1996 and is committed to the advancement of the field of dance studies through research, publication, performance, and outreach to audiences across the arts, humanities, and social sciences. SDHS holds wide-ranging annual conferences; publishes new scholarship through its proceedings and book series; collaborates regularly with peer organizations in the U.S. and abroad; and presents yearly awards for exemplary scholarship, including the de la Torre Bueno Prize®.