A UCI professor of French wins the book prize of the Association for the theater in higher education

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A UCI professor of French wins the book prize of the Association for the theater in higher education

The Association for Theater in Higher Education (ATHE) awarded its Outstanding Book Award 2020 to Carrie Noland, professor of French and director of the UCI International Center for Writing and Translation, for her book Merce Cunningham: After arbitrariness (University of Chicago Press, 2019).

The Association for Theater in Higher Education, a leading organization in the United States for theater and performance studies, presents this annual book award to recognize the potential of a study to interrupt, change or challenge practice, the pedagogy and / or the erudition of the theater. In Merce Cunningham: After arbitrariness, Noland sheds new light on one of the most influential choreographers of the twentieth century. Using a rich and unpublished archive that includes photographs, films, unpublished writings and personal interviews, she expands our understanding of her heritage.

Cunningham is best known for introducing chance into dance, often using the dice roll and other “luck” procedures to question traditional dance concepts, stage boundaries, and the relationship between dance. , music and visual arts. During a 70-year career, he has been a dancer, choreographer, writer, teacher, innovator, collaborator and even film producer. The book contains chapters on his early adoption of media technologies (photography, film, video and computer programming) and sheds new light on his theatrical approach to the complexity of human relationships.

Noland has a personal connection to the choreographer, whose studio was in the same building in Greenwich Village as her childhood home – Westbeth Artist Housing. She even took classes in her studio during her teenage years.

“The ATHE award is of particular importance to me for a number of reasons, both personal and professional. My argument in the book draws from my early years in dance, as well as my mother’s involvement in the performance scene of the 1970s, ”Noland said. “Cunningham revolutionized the world of dance; he drew on lessons from the European avant-garde to help create, along with John Cage and Robert Rauschenberg, many of the innovations we associate with today’s most avant-garde works of art.


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