Directing Desire : Intimacy Choreography and Consent in the Twenty-First Century

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    • Abstract:
      Directing Desire explores the rise of consent-based and trauma-informed approaches to staging sexually and sensually charged scenes for theater in the contemporary U.S., known as intimacy choreography. From 2015 to 2020, intimacy choreography transformed from a grassroots movement in experimental and regional theaters into a best practice accepted in Hollywood and on Broadway. Today, intimacy choreographers have become a veritable'intimacy industry'in the cultural sphere, sparking attention from Rolling Stone to The New York Times to the sketch comedy series Saturday Night Live. This book analyzes the forces that have led to intimacy choreography's meteoric rise and asks what implications the field has for theater practice more broadly. Building a theoretical framework for intimacy directing, Directing Desire also strives to reorient the conversation in the field so that artists understand not only best practices in consent but also intersectional frameworks that expandand rework consent.
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