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Dancing Stories in Greek and Roman Antiquity and Beyond
Choreonarratives, a collection of essays by classicists, dance scholars, and dance practitioners, explores the uses of dance as a narrative medium. Examples from Greek and Roman antiquity illustrate how dance contributed to narrative repertoires in their multimodal manifestations, while discussions of modern and contemporary dance shed light on practices, discourses, and ancient legacies regarding the art of dancing stories. Benefitting from the crossover of different disciplinary, historical, and artistic perspectives, the volume looks beyond current narratological trends and investigates the manifold ways in which dance can acquire meaning, disclose storyworlds ranging from myths to individual life-stories, elicit the narratees’ responses, and generate powerful narratives of its own. Together, the eclectic approaches of Choreonarratives>7i> rethink dance’s capacity to tell, enrich, and inspire stories.
In Monumental Sounds, Matthew G. Shoaf examines interactions between sight and hearing in spectacular church decoration in Italy between 1260-1320. In this "age of vision," authorities' concerns about whether and how worshipers listened to sacred speech spurred Giotto and other artists to reconfigure sacred stories to activate listening and ultimately bypass phenomenal experience for attitudes of inner receptivity. New naturalistic styles served that work, prompting viewers to give voice to depicted speech and guiding them toward spiritually-fruitful auditory discipline. This study reimagines narrative pictures as site-specific extensions of a cultural system that made listening to God's word a meaningful practice. Close reading of religious texts, poetry, and art historiography augments Shoaf's novel approach to pictorial naturalism and art's multisensorial dimensions.
In The Pechenegs: Nomads in the Political and Cultural Landscape of Medieval Europe Aleksander Paroń offers a reflection on the history of the Pechenegs, a nomadic people which came to control the Black Sea steppe by the end of the ninth century. Nomadic peoples have often been presented in European historiography as aggressors and destroyers whose appearance led to only chaotic decline and economic stagnation. Making use of historical and archaeological sources along with abundant comparative material, Aleksander Paroń offers here a multifaceted and cogent image of the nomads’ relations with neighboring political and cultural communities in the tenth and eleventh centuries.