Love Dances: Loss and Mourning in Intercultural Collaboration

SanSan Kwan | Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies | Oxford University Press, 2021

Love Dances: Loss and Mourning in Intercultural Collaboration explores global relationality within the realm of intercultural collaboration in contemporary dance. Author SanSan Kwan looks specifically at duets, focusing on “East” “West” pairings, and how dance artists from different cultural and movement backgrounds -Asia, the Asian diaspora, Europe, and the United States; trained in contemporary dance, hip hop, flamenco, Thai classical dance, kabuki, and butoh – find ways to collaborate.

Kwan acknowledges the forces of dissension, prejudice, and violence present in any contact zone, but ultimately asserts that choreographic invention across difference can be an act of love in the face of loss and serve as a model for difficult, imaginative, compassionate global affiliation. Love Dances contends that the practice and performance of dance serves as a revelatory site for working across culture. Body-to-body interaction on the stage carries the potential to model everyday encounters across difference in the world.