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Mark Franko




    • B.A. French Literature, City College of New York
      M.A. French and Romance Philology, Columbia University
      M. Phil. & Ph.D. French and Romance Philology, Columbia University

      Prior to joining the faculty at Temple University, Mark Franko was Professor of Dance and Director of the interdisciplinary Center for Visual and Performance Studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He has been Valeska Gert Visiting Professor of Dance and Performance at Freie Universiteit Berlin, and Visiting Professor at DOCH (Dans och Cirkushögskolan, University of Stockholm), and in the dance departments of Université de Paris 8 (Vincennes), Université de Nice (Sophia-Antipolis), Columbia University School of the Arts, Bard College, Performance Studies NYU, and in departments of French literature at Princeton University, Columbia University, Purdue University, and Université Paul Valéry (Montpellier 3).

      Franko danced professionally for the Paul Sanasardo Dance Company, Movement Research (the Oskar Schlemmer Bauhaus Dances), and NovAntiqua, the company he founded in 1985. In a career bridging the theory and practices of historical and contemporary dance his choreography has been produced at Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors Festival, the Berlin Werkstatt Festival, The Getty Center, the Montpellier Opera, Toulon Art Museum, the Akademie der Künste (Berlin), the Mozarteum (Salzburg), Grove Theater (London), Stuk Festival (Leuven) and in many New York and Bay Area venues.

      His choreography has been supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, New Jersey State Council on the Arts, the Getty Foundation, the Harkness Foundation, and Zellerbach Family Fund. He is the author of six books: Martha Graham in Love and War: the Life in the Work (Oxford University Press) for which he received a National Endowment for the Humanities Research Fellowship and a UC President’s Research Fellowship, Excursion for Miracles: Paul Sanasardo, Donya Feuer, and Studio for Dance (1955-1964), The Work of Dance: Labor, Movement, and Identity in the 1930s, (CHOICE magazine “Outstanding Academic Title” for 2003), Dancing Modernism/Performing Politics (1996 de la Torre Bueno prize Special Mention; Slovenian translation by Zavod En-Knap), Dance as Text: Ideologies of the Baroque Body (Cambridge University Press, 1993; Paris: Editions Kargo, 2005; Palermo: L’Epos, 2009; revised edition forthcoming at Oxford), and The Dancing Body in Renaissance Choreography. He edited Ritual and Event: Interdisciplinary Perspectives (Routledge) and co-edited Acting on the Past: Historical Performance Across the Disciplines (Wesleyan). He was the editor of Dance Research Journal (Cambridge University Press) and is founding editor of the Oxford Studies in Dance Theory book series. He is the editor of the Oxford Handbook of Dance and Reenactment (2017).

      Franko's research has been supported by the American Council of Learned Societies, the American Philosophical Foundation, the Getty Center for the History of Art and the Humanities, and the France/Berkeley Fund. In 2011 he was recipient of the Outstanding Scholarly Research in Dance Award, Congress on Research in Dance; he received the International Visiting Research Scholar Award, Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies, University of British Columbia.

      In 2018, he was awarded a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship for his project, Serge Lifar and the Crisis of Neoclassicism, which is a study of French dance and politics in the first half of the twentieth century. It examines the interwar discourses of classicism and neoclassicism in French dance from the 1920s through the Occupation.


    • Exhibitions (curator)

      MoMA: Donya Feuer: Dance Film Collaborations with Ingmar Bergman, Romola Nijinsky, and Others


      The Fascist Turn in the Dance of Serge Lifar: French Interwar Ballet and the German Occupation (New York: Oxford University Press, 2020) – in press.

      Choreographing Discourses: A Mark Franko Reader – Editor with Alessandra Nicifero (London: Routledge 2019)

      Danzar el Modernismo/Actuar la Política, Spanish translation of Dancing Modernism/Performing Politics under contract with Miño y Dávila Publishers (Madrid and Buenos Aires) in a translation by Juan Ignacio Vallejos.

      Editor, The Oxford Handbook of Dance and Reenactment

      Martha Graham in Love and War: the Life in the Work (New York: Oxford University Press, 2012)

      Editor, Ritual and Event: Interdisciplinary Perspectives. London and New York: Routledge, 2007 [Routledge advances in theatre and performance studies]

      Modernizem v plesu/Politike uprizarjanja. Lublujana: Zavod EN-KNAP, 2007. [Slovenian translation of Dancing Modernism/Performing Politics by Aleksandra Rekar]

      La danse comme texte: idéologies du corps baroque. Paris: Editions Kargo, 2005.

      Danza come testo. Ideologie del corpo barocco (Palermo: L’Epos, 2009) – translation by Deda Cristina Colonna & Patrizia Veroli.

      Excursion for Miracles: Paul Sanasardo, Donya Feuer and Studio for Dance (1955-1964). Wesleyan University Press, 2005.

      The Work of Dance: Labor, Movement, and Identity in the 1930s. Wesleyan University Press, 2002.

      Acting on the Past: Historical Performance Across the Disciplines. Wesleyan University Press, 2000. Co-editor (with Annette Richards)

      Dancing Modernism/Performing Politics. Indiana University Press, 1995.

      Dance as Text: Ideologies of the Baroque Body. Cambridge University Press, 1993.

      The Dancing Body in Renaissance Choreography (c. 1416-1589). Summa Publications, 1986

      Selected Articles in books and journals 

      "Mémoires nouées, prémonitions et radicalités chorégraphiques : les ballets de Paul Sanasardo New York 1969-1975" in Danser en 68 : perspectives internationales edited by Isabelle Launay, Silviane Pagès, Mélanie Papin, and Guillaume Sintès (Montpellier : Deuxième Epoque, 2018) : 57-76.

      "De la danse comme texte au texte comme danse : généalogie du baroque d’après-guerre," in Gestualités/Textualités en danse contemporaine edited by Stefano Genetti, Chantal Lapeyre, and Frédéric Pouillaude (Paris : Editions Hermann, 2018) : 203-228.

      “New Directions” in The Bloomsbury Companion to Dance Studies, edited by Sherril Dodds (London, New York, Oxford, New Dehli, Syndey: Bloomsbury Academic, 2019): 385-406.

      "The Conduct of Contemplation and the Gestural Ethics of Interpretation in Walter Benjamin’s 'Epistemo-Critical Prologue.'" Performance Philosophy Journal (2017).

      La Danse et le Politique: des états d’exception,” translated in French by Agnès Benoit-Nader in the online journal Association des Chercheurs en danse (2017).

      Two entries for the revised edition of Encyclopedia of Aesthetics edited by Michael Kelly (Oxford University Press, 2014), volume 2:  “Dance Studies” (265-268) and “Authenticity in Dance” (268-271).


      “Museum Artifact Act” in Tanz und Archiv 5 (2014): 94-103; republished in DANSE: an Anthology edited by Noémie Solomon (Paris: les presses du reel, 2014): 251-260.


      “Abstraction,” October 143 (Winter 2013): 34-37. 

      “Danced Abstraction: Rudolf von Laban” and “Danced Abstraction: Mary Wigman” in Inventing Abstraction edited by Leah Dickerman (New York: Museum of Modern Art, 2012): 292-295 & 296-299.

      “Dance as Sign and Unruly Corporeality in Pasolini’s Film and Film Theory” in Studi Pasoliniani 6 (2012): 42-51.

      “Archeological Choreographic Practices: Forsythe and Foucault” in History of the Human Sciences 24/4 (October 2011): 97-112.

      “Writing for the Body: Notation, Reconstruction and Reinvention in Dance," in Common Knowledge 17/2 (2011): 321-334.

      “’Dans le vague de l’air’: à propos du ‘caractère poétique’ de la déclamation à l’âge classique," in Les arts de la scène à l’épreuve de l’Histoire: les objets et les méthodes de l’historiographie des spectacles produits sur la scène française (1635-1906) edited by Roxane Martin and Marina Nordera (Paris: Honoré Champion, 2011): 335-343.

      “Influences,” in Dance Research 28/1 (2010): 1-6.

      “Body-Language and Language-Body in William Forsythe’s Artifact: Michel Foucault and Louis Marin on the Baroque Body” in Ars Aeterna 2/1 (2010): 84-101.

      “Balanchine Defended Against his Devotees With a little help from Theodor W. Adorno” in DenkFiguren. Performatives zwischen Bewegen, Schreiben und Erfinden edited by Nicole Haitzinger & Karin Fenböck (Munich: Epodium, 2010): 54-67.