The Virus of Mobilization is an attempt to construct an original approach to the history of dance in early modern Europe. This is not a history of choreographic works, though these do, of course, have their place. Nor is it a history of techniques and styles, though these too are given due attention. The main aim is to analyze the powers that summon dance to life and to respond in part to the question of why people danced the way they did at various stages of modernity’s development. What values were expressed through dance, what models of humanity and society were enacted by its means? In search of a reply, the author analyzes texts from the Renaissance, Baroque, Classicism, and the Enlightenment: most of all these are dance treatises, but also philosophical, political, and scientific papers, and works of art. The book has been furnished with numerous illustrations, following the author’s intent to reveal the kinetic imagination at various stages in the shaping of modern culture.
Wojciech Klimczyk works as a professor in the Centre for Comparative Studies of Civilisations at the Jagiellonian University. His research focuses on the relationships between culture and embodiment, putting special emphasis on studying dance in its social and political contexts. His books include Postmodern Eroticism (Universitas, 2008) and Visionaries of the Body: A Panorama of Contemporary Dance Theater (Ha!art, 2010). The Virus of Mobilization: Dance and the Shaping of Modernity 1455–1795 was originally released in Polish in 2015 by Universitas publishers, and, one year later, was nominated for the prestigious Polish Society of Theater Studies Award and the Prof. Tadeusz Kotarbiński Award for Poland’s best work in the humanities.
Open-access publication of the English edition of the monograph The Virus of Mobilization: Dance and the Shaping of Modernity 1455–1795 by Wojciech Klimczyk is financed from funds of the Polish Minister of Science and Higher Education under contract No. 626 / P-DUN / 2019, in order to internationalize and disseminate research results.