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Choreographies of Landscape: Signs of Performance in Yosemite National Park

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Volume 8

Dance and Performance Studies

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Choreographies of Landscape

Signs of Performance in Yosemite National Park

Sally Ann Ness

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186 pages, 20 illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78533-116-9 25% OFF! $150.00/£107.00 $112.50/£80.25 Hb Published (March 2016)

eISBN 978-1-78533-117-6 eBook

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“This is an extremely original, theoretically surprising, very clearly written, and thought-provoking project. By focusing on encounters with Yosemite National Park, Sally Ann Ness takes her reader along unexpected paths while constructing an innovative and deeply personal anthropology of experience.” · André Lepecki, New York University

“The delight of this book is that it seriously engages with a web of theory yet retains a light touch. Through careful observation-performance, it offers an intimate approach to its subject that is both complex and beautifully poetic.” · David Crouch, University of Derby


As an international ecotourism destination, Yosemite National Park welcomes millions of climbers, sightseers, and other visitors from around the world annually, all of whom are afforded dramatic experiences of the natural world. This original and cross-disciplinary book offers an ethnographic and performative study of Yosemite visitors in order to understand human connection with and within natural landscapes. By grounding a novel “eco-semiotic” analysis in the lived reality of parkgoers, it forges surprising connections, assembling a collective account that will be of interest to disciplines ranging from performance studies to cultural geography.

Sally Ann Ness is Professor of Anthropology at University of California, Riverside. She is author of Where Asia Smiles (2003) as well as Body Movement and Culture (1992), which won the de la Torre Bueno Prize and the CORD Outstanding Publication in Dance Research Award. She has also co-edited, with Carrie Noland, the collection Migrations of Gesture (2008).  Her research in Yosemite was funded in part by a 2007 John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship.

Subject: Performance Studies General Anthropology Environmental Studies
Area: North America


List of Illustrations


Introduction: Landscape Performance Theory, an Introduction


Chapter 1. Bouldering: Movements of the Unforetold
Chapter 2. Climbing: Scenic-Obscenic Movement
Chapter 3. Hiking: Self-World Transformations


Chapter 4. Unwinding and Changing Course
Chapter 5. The Spartanburg Coincidence


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