Stacking the Spine

Interdisciplinary reflections from BackStories

Authored by: Becka McFadden

The Routledge Companion to Dance Studies

Print publication date:  November  2019
Online publication date:  October  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138234581
eBook ISBN: 9781315306551
Adobe ISBN:


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This practice-led account of a creation process leading to the transdisciplinary solo dance work BackStories (Beautiful Confusion Collective) is performed entirely with the artist’s back facing the audience. The use of methods drawn from post-Grotowski physical theatre in the dance-making process is considered as they relate to the creation and performance of movement material and the dramaturgy of the piece. Questions of aesthetics and stage semiotics in relation to BackStories’ emphasis on the spine and back-body as primary carriers of meaning also are considered, as are the ways a solo work may transcend the specificity of the solo performer/creator to become choral in nature. The writing of this chapter is informed by a self-reflexive approach inspired by various embodied writing methods also used in the studio creation process.

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