Anne Robinson, Karen Saxby
Democracy's Body offers a lively, detailed account of the beginnings of the Judson Dance Theater--a popular center of dance experimentation in New York's Greenwich Village--and its place in the larger history of the avant-garde art scene of the 1960s. JDT started when Robert Dunn, a student of John Cage, offered a dance composition class in Merce Cunningham's studio. The performers--many of whom included some of the most prominent figures in the arts in the early sisties--found a welcome performance home in the Judson Memorial Church in the Village. Sally Banes's account draws on interviews, letters, diaries, films, and reconstructions of dances to paint a portrait of the rich culture of Judson, which was the seedbed for postmodern dance and the first avant-garde movement in dance theater since the modern dance of the 1930s and 1940s. Originally published in 1983, this edition brings back into print a highly regarded work of dance history.