Mark Franko

Mark Franko

Director, Center for Visual and Performance Studies
Professor of Dance
UC Santa Cruz
Research Interests: 

Mark Franko is Director of the Center for Visual and Performance Studies. In a career bridging the theory and practices of historical and contemporary dance Franko founded the Dance Company NovAntiqua in 1985. 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), and in many New York and Bay Area venues. He received his Ph.D. in French from Columbia University and danced professionally in the Paul Sanasardo Dance Company and the Bauhaus Dances before becoming a dance historian and theorist. He is the author of five books: 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 is also the editor of Dance Research Journal and founding editor of the Oxford Studies in Dance Theory book series.  Franko received a National Endowment for the Humanities Research Fellowship and a UC President's Research Fellowship for Martha Graham in Love and War: the life in the work forthcoming in May 2012 at Oxford University Press.


Education and Training: 
Ph.D., French Literature, Columbia University (1981)
Selected Publications: 


  • 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:

  • "Splintered Encounters: The Critical Reception to William Forsythe in the United States, 1979-1989" in William Forsythe and the Practice of Choreography.  It Starts from Any Point.  Edited by Stephen Spier.  London: Routledge.  2011: 38-50.
  • "The Dancing Gaze Across Cultures: Kazuo Ohno's Admiring La Argentina", in Dance Chronicle 34 (2011): 106-131.
  • "Writing for the Body: Notation, Reconstruction and Reinvention in Dance", in Common Knowledge 17/2 (2011): 321-334.
  • "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 Fenbock.  Munich: Epoduim, 2010: 54-67
  • "Fragment of the Sovereign as Hermaphrodite: Time, History and the Exception in Le Ballet de Madame," Dance Research 25/3 edited by Richard Ralph (Edinburgh Eniversity Press, 2007): 119-133.
  •  Dance and the Political: States of Exception" in Dance Discourses: keywords in dance research, edited by Marina Nordera and Suzanna Franco.  London: Routledge, 2007: 11-28.