Gestures of Music Theater: The Performativity of Song and Dance offers new cutting edge essays focusing on Song and Dance as performative gestures that not only entertain but also act on audiences and performers. The chapters range across musical theatre, opera, theatre and other artistic practices, from Glee to Gardzienice, Beckett to Disney, Broadway to Turner Prize winning sound installation. The chapters draw together these diverse examples of vocality and physicality by exploring their affect rather than through considering them as texts. This book considers performativity in relation to Dramaturgy, Transition, Identity, Context, Practice, Community and finally, Writing. The book reveals how the texture of music theatre, containing as it does the gestures of song and dance, is performative in dense, interwoven, dialogical and paradoxical ways, partly caused by the intertextual and interdisciplinary energies of its make-up, partly by its active dynamism in performance. The book's contributors derive methodologies from many disciplines, seeking in many ways to resist and explode discrete discipline-based enquiry.
They share methodologies and performance repertoires with discipline-based scholarship from theatre studies, musicology and cultural studies, but there are many other approaches and case studies which we also embrace. Together, they view these as neighboring voices whose dialogue enriches the study of contemporary music theatre.