Dance is often considered an ephemeral art, one that disappears nearly as soon as it materializes, leaving no physical object behind. Yet some dance practice involves people trying to embody something that exists before – and survives beyond – their particular acts of dancing. What exactly is that thing? And (how) do dances continue to exist when not performed? Anna Pakes seeks to answer these and related questions in this book, drawing on analytic philosophy of art to explore the metaphysics of dance making, performance and disappearance. Focusing on Western theater dance, Pakes also traces the different ways dances have been conceptualized across time, and what those historical shifts imply for the ontology of dance works.