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Title: Bodies and labour: industrialisation, dance and performance
Authors: McColl, Jennifer
Advisors: Birringer, J
Keywords: Taylorism, Fordism & post-Fordism;Electric dance;Mass ornament;Performance and productivity;Dance and technology
Issue Date: 2013
Publisher: Brunel University School of Arts PhD Theses
Abstract: This thesis presents an interdisciplinary analysis of ideas regarding the introduction of technologies in the field of dance and performance since the industrial era. The first two chapters analyse different historical periods, thus creating a parallel between the establishment of work-science, and emerging methods and styles within performing arts that utilise technology as a core element for its creation. The historical examination of the field of work-science studies allows the sketching of a variety of relationships between labour and technical developments, focusing especially on the systematisation of productive processes, the integration of new technical developments and the measurements of body’s rhythms and capacities. Therefore, rather than presenting a full historical study of industrialisation and technological performance, this research proposes a segmented analysis of two different periods: firstly, a parallel between Taylorism and Electric Dance since the late nineteenth century; and secondly, some relevant notions of Fordism, Mass Ornament and film studies from the 1920s. In the last part of this thesis, I present some general ideas on post-Fordism and digital performance that will serve as a base for future research development. This investigation is rooted in the field of performing arts, introducing ideas and concepts from labour studies and generating a critical approach to the integration of technologies within performing arts and its aesthetical, methodological and creative outcomes. The research encompasses a wide range of perspectives, from early photographic experiments, film studies, entertainment culture, video games, and digital technologies, formulating a general approach to technological transformations since the late nineteenth century. The key question throughout this research is precisely a double-sided adaptation between movement style and technical development: a process of intermedial configurations based on technological progress, analysed from a labour-science perspective, and then applied to performance art and entertainment culture.
Description: This thesis was submitted for the degree of Master of Philosophy and was awarded by Brunel University
Appears in Collections:Theatre
Dept of Arts and Humanities Theses

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