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Dance, Text and Philosophy in Gertrude Stein’s “Orta or One Dancing” and Roger Scruton’s ‘Perictione in Colophon’

Jarmila Mildorf

Seiten 423 - 440

This article explores connections among dance, text and philosophy in Gertrude Stein’s “Orta or One Dancing” and contemporary English philosopher Roger Scruton’s novel ‘Perictione in Colophon’. Against the background of a phenomenology of dancing as well as semiotic and intermedial approaches, the two texts are analysed with regard to how they present dancers and dancing not just on the level of content but also through their respective discourse. It is shown that the texts offer or at least stimulate theoretical reflection on dancing and can thus be considered as participating in a long tradition of dance writing. At the same time, it is shown how the two texts use specifically ‘literary’ means of defamiliarization and storytelling to do so, thus constituting special instances of dance writing. The article argues that a new generic label, ‘literary dance writing’, might be useful to denote such borderline cases.


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