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Gabriele Klein

Gabriele Klein

The basics
Quick Facts
Intro Sociologist
Countries Germany
Occupations Sociologist Writer Educator
Gender female
Birth 1 January 1957 (Wanne-Eickel, Herne, Arnsberg Government Region, North Rhine-Westphalia)
The details

Gabriele Klein (born 1957) is a sociologist, dance theorist and professor at the University of Hamburg.


From 1977 to 1987 Gabriele Klein studied Sociology, History, Sports Sciences, Contemporary Dance and Education at the Universities of Bielefeld, Bochum and Essen, as well as at the Amsterdam School of the Arts (Amsterdamse Hogeschool voor de Kunsten). She completed her Doctorate in Social Sciences at the University of Bochum in 1990. Her dissertation was published in 1992 under the title: Women Bodies Dance. A Civilization Theory of Dance (Frauen Körper Tanz. Eine Zivilisationsgeschichte des Tanzes) (ISBN 978-3453070325). She was habilitated in 1998 with the study, published in 1999: Electronic Vibration. Pop Culture Theory (Electronic Vibration. Pop Kultur Theorie) (ISBN 978-3810041029). In 2002 she was appointed professor at the University of Hamburg. She is also the head, since 2005, of the interdisciplinary Center for Performance Studies and the post-graduate course of the same name. She has occupied numerous international professorships.

Since 1994 she has been the head of various research projects and has appeared as organizer of numerous national and international academic events. From 1997 to 2001 she was chair of the Society for Dance Research (Gesellschaft für Tanzforschung, GTF).


Gabriele Klein’s research is concentrated on body, human movement and dance studies, as well as on pop culture, performance studies, gender studies and urban studies. The social-anthropological and gender-theoretical perspectives that she has developed, and for which she has received international awards (Curriculum Vitae), were expanded in subsequent research, in particular in studies of popular dance forms in the youth scene and in popular culture, especially techno and hip-hop culture, Latin American dances and cultural performances, which she examined primarily in everyday life, sport and the arts.

Her focus in recent research has lain in the globalization and transnationalization of dance cultures and the appropriation of dance and movement patterns and their contexts of meaning in different local and urban cultures. Gabriele Klein considers dance figurations to be a special manner of social interaction. In these social choreographies the social becomes apparent. Dance studies thus become on the one hand a research field for the sociology of the body and social choreography on the other an important aspect of social figurations. Gabriele Klein has influenced considerably the contours of this social-scientific discipline with her research and is member of the board of directors of the Society of Dance History Scholars (Society of Dance History Scholars).



  • Choreographic Toolkit (Choreografischer Baukasten), edited by Gabriele Klein, Transcript: Bielefeld 2011 (with Gitta Barthel and Esther Wagner). ISBN 978-3-8376-1788-7
  • Electronic Vibration. Pop Culture Theory (Electronic Vibration. Pop Kultur Theorie), VS: Wiesbaden 2004 (Hardcover: Rogner & Bernhard: Hamburg 1999). ISBN 978-3810041029
  • Is this real? The Culture of HipHop (Is this real? Die Kultur des HipHop), Suhrkamp: Frankfurt a. M. 2003 (with Malte Friedrich) (4. edition 2011). ISBN 978-3518123157
  • WomenBodiesDance. A Civilisation History of Dance (FrauenKörperTanz. Eine Zivilisationsgeschichte des Tanzes), Heyne: München 1994 (Hardcover: Quadriga: Weinheim/Berlin 1992) ISBN 978-3453070325.


  • Translating and Framing. Practices of Medial Transformations (Übersetzen und Rahmen. Praktiken medialer Transformationen), Wilhelm Fink: München 2017 (with Claudia Benthien). ISBN 978-3-7705-6107-0
  • Performance and Practice. Praxeological Investigations in Dance, Theatre, Sport and Everyday Life (Performance und Praxis. Praxeologische Erkundungen in Tanz, Theater, Sport und Alltag), Transcript: Bielefeld 2017 (with Hanna Katharina Göbel). ISBN 978-3-8376-3287-3
  • Handbook Sociology of the Body (Handbuch Körpersoziologie), 2 Vols., VS: Wiesbaden 2016 (with Robert Gugutzer and Michael Meuser). ISBN 978-3-658-04135-9
  • Choreographic Toolkit. The Book (Choreografischer Baukasten. Das Buch), Transcript: Bielefeld 2015 ISBN 978-3-8376-3186-9
  • Methods of Dance Research. Model Analysis of Pina Bausch’s Le Sacre du Printemps (Methoden der Tanzwissenschaft. Modellanalysen zu Pina Bauschs Le Sacre du Printemps), 2nd revised and enlarged edition, Transcript: Bielefeld 2015 (with Gabriele Brandstetter). ISBN 978-3-8376-2651-3
  • Dance [and] Theory, Transcript: Bielefeld 2013 (with Gabriele Brandstetter). ISBN 978-3-8376-2151-8
  • Emerging Bodies. The Performance of Worldmaking in Dance and Choreography, Transcript: Bielefeld 2011 (with Sandra Noeth). ISBN 978-3837615968
  • Tango in Translation. Dance between Media, Culture, Art and Politics (Tango in Translation. Tanz zwischen Medien, Kulturen, Kunst und Politik), Transcript: Bielefeld 2009. ISBN 978-3837612042
  • Movement Space and Urban Culture (Bewegungsraum und Stadtkultur), Transcript: Bielefeld 2008 (with Jürgen Funke-Wieneke). ISBN 978-3837610215
  • Serious Games. On the Political Sociology of Soccer (Ernste Spiele. Zur politischen Soziologie des Fußballs), Transcript: Bielefeld 2008 (with Michael Meuser). ISBN 978-3899429770
  • East Europe (Ost-Europa), tanzheft eins, ed. by Performance Studies/Tanzplan Bremen, Hamburg 2008.
  • Bodies (Körper), Special Issue of the Journal Schüler, Friedrich: Velber 2002.
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