“The dance of the intelligence”? Dancing Bodies in Mina Loy

Alex GoodyOxford Brookes University
Vol. 37, No. 1 (Spring 2018), 131-156

Mina Loy’s engagement with dance in her writings exemplifies how a writer can use this corporeal art as a means to articulate a feminist sensibility. In a period when dance was undergoing similar seismic shifts to those transforming the written and visual arts, Loy drew on the expressive kinesthetics of ballet and modern dance to examine the gender politics of the dancing body and explore the performative energies of the written word. This article examines Loy’s published and unpublished work—from early poems on Italian futurism to her long poem on the dancer Isadora Duncan—and the dancing that inspired them. It argues that Loy draws on dance to interrogate and experiment with the ways meaning is made with the body and how the body can be part of the meanings of language.

Mary Wollstonecraft Sojourner Truth Margaret Atwood Abigail Adams Amy Tan H.D. Simone de Beauvoir Zora Neale Hurston Frances Burney Virginia Woolf

"The white saxifrage with the indented leafe is moste commended for the breakinge of the Stone."

— Turner, Herbal, III, 68 [1568]