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A data visualization approach to 20th century dance touring

This presentation asks what part transportation infrastructures have played in determining where touring dance artists travel and thus what audiences they are able to reach. In particular, I focus on changes in the US transportation landscape during the first half of the 20th century. I track the decline of train travel as automobiles and airplanes surpassed railroads, and offer some initial thoughts toward the impact these changes would have had on audience access. This presentation represents a digital humanities take on dance studies and crafts a critical mixed-methods approach from such techniques as data analysis and digital mapping in conjunction with archival research to ask the question, how does dance travel?

Speaker Bio

Harmony Bench is Associate Professor in the Department of Dance at The Ohio State University. Her research sits at the intersections of dance and performance studies and media and technology studies. Collaborative digital humanities projects with Kate Elswit currently underway use spatial and data analysis to consider transportation infrastructure, support networks, and other mechanisms that enable what we call movement on the move. Since 2014, she has been co-editor of The International Journal of Screendance with Simon Ellis.

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A Part of “Intersections of Art, Technology and Society”

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