(Un)covering ground: dance, space and mobility


Brazzale, C. 2014. (Un)covering ground: dance, space and mobility. Theatre, Dance and Performance Training. 5 (2), pp. 107-118.
AuthorsBrazzale, C.

Ballet and modern dance teachers often exhort students to ‘travel across the floor’ and ‘cover ground’. These instructions invoke metaphors of travel and mobility that capture an array of common assumptions about dance, space and movement. This essay examines the spatial and mobility discourses that these instructions simultaneously build upon and produce while exploring the seductiveness of technique’s promise of mastering space through the moving body.
Threading auto-ethnography with critical theory and moving across different disciplinary fields and writing styles, I explore the ways in which these instructions leak outside the perimeter of the dance studio to feed into the narrative of a dancer’s extended physical, geographical and social mobility. Analysing the mobility and travel discourses of my dance training vis-à-vis poststructuralist theorizations of the subaltern power of the nomad and theories of space and place, I argue that this narrative becomes complicit in the construction of an idealized notion of artistic nomadism, which, in turn, aligns with current neoliberal logics organised around the production of mobile subjects.

JournalTheatre, Dance and Performance Training
Journal citation5 (2), pp. 107-118
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Accepted author manuscript
Web address (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/19443927.2014.908140
Publication dates
Print08 Aug 2014
Publication process dates
Deposited11 Jul 2016
Copyright informationThis is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Theatre, Dance and Performance Training on 08.08.14, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/19443927.2014.908140
Permalink -


Download files

Accepted author manuscript
  • 37
    total views
  • 107
    total downloads
  • 2
    views this month
  • 4
    downloads this month

Export as

Related outputs

Afropean Moves
Brazzale, C. 2019. Afropean Moves.
“I've danced my whole life, but none of that is useful at all”: Netflix’s We Speak Dance (2018), Vulnerability and Collaborative Critiques
Blanco Borelli, M., Benthaus, E., Brazzale, C., Mitra, R., Rosa, C., Jarvinen, H., Monteiro, C., Rastovac-Akbarzadeh, H. and De la Cruz, M. 2018. “I've danced my whole life, but none of that is useful at all”: Netflix’s We Speak Dance (2018), Vulnerability and Collaborative Critiques. Conversations Across the Field of Dance Studies. XXXVIII, pp. 54-60.
The Economy of West African Dance in Italy
Brazzale, C. 2014. The Economy of West African Dance in Italy. Congress on Research in Dance. 2014, pp. 27-31. https://doi.org/10.1017/cor.2014.4
Not in Our Class
Brazzale, C. 2013. Not in Our Class. Liverpool, UK 13 Dec 2013
Introduction: Fashioning the Global City
Brazzale, C. 2012. Introduction: Fashioning the Global City. Streetnotes. 20, pp. 1-6.
Tailoring Cosmopolitanism in the Italian Nordest
Brazzale, C. 2012. Tailoring Cosmopolitanism in the Italian Nordest. Streetnotes. 20, pp. 7-30.