The Representation of Dance in Australian Novels

The Darkness Beyond the Stage-Lit Dream

by Melinda Jewell (Author)
©2011 Thesis XII, 402 Pages


This book is an analysis of the textual representation of dance in the Australian novel since the late 1890s. It examines how the act of dance is variously portrayed, how the word ‘dance’ is used metaphorically to convey actual or imagined movement, and how dance is written in a novelistic form. The author employs a wide range of theoretical approaches including postcolonial studies, theories concerned with class, gender, metaphor and dance and, in particular, Jung’s concept of the shadow and theories concerned with vision. Through these variegated approaches, the study critiques the common view that dance is an expression of joie de vivre, liberation, transcendence, order and beauty. This text also probes issues concerned with the enactment of dance in Australia and abroad, and contributes to an understanding of how dance is ‘translated’ into literature. It makes an important contribution because the study of dance in Australian literature has been minimal, and this despite the reality that dance is prolific in Australian novels.


XII, 402
ISBN (Softcover)
Publication date
2011 (January)
Bühnentechnik Literaturwissenschaft 20th Century and Contemporary English Literature
Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Oxford, Wien, 2011. XII, 402 pp., num. tables

Biographical notes

Melinda Jewell (Author)

Melinda Jewell attained a Bachelor of Science majoring in Environmental Plant Biology and Resource and Environmental Management from Macquarie University, Sydney in 1995. Her academic focus then changed to the arts, receiving a Bachelor of Arts specialising in dance and literature from the University of New South Wales in 2002. Her doctoral thesis extended on this topic and was completed at the University of Western Sydney in late 2008. Currently, Melinda Jewell works for the Writing and Society Research Group at the University of Western Sydney overseeing the group‘s postgraduate training program.


Title: The Representation of Dance in Australian Novels