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‘Dancing As If Language No Longer Existed’

Dance in Contemporary Irish Drama


Katarzyna Ojrzynska

This book offers a comprehensive study of the role of dance in a wide range of contemporary Irish plays and argues that dance can be perceived as exemplifying the re-embracement of bodily expression by the local culture. The author approaches this issue from a cultural materialist perspective, demonstrating that dance in twentieth-century Ireland was particularly prone to ideological appropriation and that, consequently, its use in contemporary drama often serves to communicate critical and revisionist approaches to the social, economic and political concerns addressed in these plays. The book makes a valuable contribution to current debates about the nature of Irish theatre, investigating recent changes to its traditional, text-based character. These are examined within two important contexts: firstly, transformations in the perception of the human body in Irish culture and, secondly, changes in the attitude of the Irish towards their past and their cultural heritage.
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Reimagining Ireland

Series Editor: Dr Eamon Maher, Institute of Technology, Tallaght

The concepts of Ireland and ‘Irishness’ are in constant flux in the wake of an ever-increasing reappraisal of the notion of cultural and national specificity in a world assailed from all angles by the forces of globalisation and uniformity. Reimagining Ireland interrogates Ireland’s past and present and suggests possibilities for the future by looking at Ireland’s literature, culture and history and subjecting them to the most up-to-date critical appraisals associated with sociology, literary theory, historiography, political science and theology.

Some of the pertinent issues include, but are not confined to, Irish writing in English and Irish, Nationalism, Unionism, the Northern ‘Troubles’, the Peace Process, economic development in Ireland, the impact and decline of the Celtic Tiger, Irish spirituality, the rise and fall of organised religion, the visual arts, popular cultures, sport, Irish music and dance, emigration and the Irish diaspora, immigration and multiculturalism, marginalisation, globalisation, modernity/postmodernity and postcolonialism. The series publishes monographs, comparative studies, interdisciplinary projects, conference proceedings and edited books.

Proposals should be sent either to Dr Eamon Maher at or to

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