I dance to you: Reflections on Irigaray's I Love to You in Pilates and virtuosity

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This essay engages Luce Irigaray's view of love as carnal and relational labor, and her ethics of that love, as they emerge in her book I Love to You: Sketch of a Possible Felicity in History. Of particular interest is the 'to' in her formulation 'love to you'. This 'to', the author argues, is deployed by, or reverberates between, dancing, observing and writing bodies. It is a technology of corporeal intimacy, a protocol for reading and re-imagining the love story of dance criticism. Two sites offer illustrations of opposing views of Irigaray's 'to'. The first, the Pilates studio, links 'to' to the metaphoric, sometimes proprietary intimacy of working with a practitioner body to body. The second, a decidedly 'anti-Irigaraian' love story, explores virtuosity as a romance between dancer and critic, one in which the latter is seduced by, and envelopes the former as 'you who will never be, yet must be mine'.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)229-240
Number of pages12
JournalCultural Studies
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cultural Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • General Social Sciences


  • Butoh
  • Dance
  • Dance criticism
  • Irigaray
  • Oguri
  • Pilates


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