Document Type

Book Review

Publication Date


Source Publication

8(1) The IP Law Book Review 20-31 (2017)


Copyright; Intellectual Property; Choreography; Dance: Critical Race; Feminism; Legal History


Dance may be one of the world’s oldest art forms, but it is a relatively recent entrant into the sphere of copyright law—and remains something of an afterthought amongst copyright lawyers and scholars alike. For copyright scholars, at least, that should change with the publication of Anthea Kraut’s CHOREOGRAPHING COPYRIGHT: RACE, GENDER, AND INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS IN AMERICAN DANCE. Kraut performs a fascinating exploration of the evolution of choreographic copyright—sweeping, political, polemical—that should leave no one in doubt as to the normative significance of choreography as a subject matter of copyright law and policy. Nor should doubt remain as to the political significance of copyright within the realm of choreography. Choreographic copyright, Kraut persuades us, is a key site for the negotiation of subject-hood and the navigation of shifting power flows. Through carefully researched and beautifully narrated case studies that reveal the role of race and gender in the allocation of intellectual property rights, Kraut weaves a compelling historical and socio-cultural account of copyright’s emergence and exploitation on the stages and in the studios of 19th-21st century America.


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