Dancing Communities

Performance, Difference and Connection in the Global City

Cover of 'Dancing Communities' by Judith Hamera

Palgrave Macmillan
Nov. 8, 2006


Dancers create "civic culture" as performances for public consumption, but also as vernaculars connecting individuals who may have little in common. Examining performance and the construction of culturally diverse communities the book suggests that amateur and concert dance can teach us how to live and work productively together.


“[Hamera] makes several prominent contributions to dance studies, and also to any scholarship interested in the relationship between community-building and the arts.”

Theatre Journal

“As a practitioner of several disciplines...and as a resident of the global city wherein Hamera grounds her investigation, I recommend Dancing Communities not only as a text worth reading but, even more so, as a task worth rehearsing.”

— Shakina Nayfack, Dance Research Journal

“There has been a longstanding belief by practitioners of community dance that participation in dance can be a force that can affect or change people’s lives, usually for the better. This belief has wide currency, yet without much academic research to bolster it. Judith Hamera offers a unique and personal monograph that provides dance scholarship with a convincing argument, not only for community dance, but professional dance too.”

— Sara Houston, Contemporary Theatre Review

“...an enviable synthesis of performance studies, dance studies, queer theory, critical geography, and cultural studies literature rendered in direct and purposeful prose...[and] an invaluable resource in teaching performance-centred research methods to graduate students... Dancing Communities is both beautiful and practical. The book is theoretically dense enough to reward re-reading, but written with sufficient clarity to give structure to a time-crunched graduate student’s first pass through.”

— David P. Terry, Text and Performance Quarterly

“This book deserves serious attention from dance and performance scholars. It is likely to influence the formulation of future studies that challenge understanding of the significance of a particular body mastering a technique.”

Theatre Survey


  • Book of the Year Award, Ethnography Division of the National Communication Association