Two years has passed since our last list of recommendations for Christmas gifts for the dance lovers in your life (check it out here); time for another round-up of fascinating and enjoyable reads featured by Oxford Dance Writers, to ease your Christmas shopping travails or request for your own Christmas stocking… Special thanks to Maggie Watson whose many informative and insightful reviews will help you choose the ideal gift…

First up a couple of recent books to enthuse and inform aspiring dancers and balletomanes – perfect Christmas presents:

The Ballet Lover’s Companion, by Zoë Anderson. Yale University Press, 2015

Zoë Anderson has compiled 140 ballets in a comprehensive survey of the repertoire, organised historically and geographically.  A sumptuous and enjoyable gift; read Maggie Watson’s review here. You can buy this book here (more…)

Dance is hardly a new subject to be discussed in philosophy. From Plato’s Laws, through John Locke’s Some Thoughts concerning Education, through Hegel’s Aesthetics and Nietzsche’s manifold dance writings, to more contemporary philosophers such as Alain Badiou and Jacques Derrida, dance has been long discussed by the most known names in our Western philosophical canon. At the same time, within philosophy departments and courses, dance is far from being treated as a main stream research topic. However, publication of monographs and collections, such as the one discussed below, hopefully will aid in resolving this unexplainable tension.

The collection of essays is divided into four parts. Dancers and people dancing, dance works and their performances, dance expression and representation, dance and philosophy/ dance as philosophy. The contributors, too, are varied, from Jonathan Owen Clark and Henrietta Bannerman, to Efrosini Protopapa (London based choreographer). Indeed, the different specialties of the authors increase the strength of the book, illuminating the diversity dance has as a subject. (more…)