EASA, 2010: EASA2010: Crisis and imagination

Maynooth, 24/08/2010 – 27/08/2010

(W041)

Global movement: dance, choreography, style

Location Arts Classhall A
Date and Start Time 25 Aug, 2010 at 11:30

Convenors

László Kürti (University of Miskolc) email
Jonathan Skinner (University of Roehampton) email
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Long Abstract

Dance has often been used as a metaphor for transnational cultural exchange as it contributes to a process where people interact both within and across borders. Recently, there have been dramatic and imaginative increases in the flow of ideas, movement, and styles concerning dance, music, and the arts. This raises new questions about the effects of trade, transnational connections, and mobility in relation to the autonomy of individual artists, performing ensembles and the relative power of the arts in society. The global circulation of European dance forms and institutions has a long and complex history including reverse flows - dance and musical styles from the peripheries of Europe and elsewhere in Africa, the Americas and Asia - are features of the global dance scene today. But how does globalization affect dance and dance artists? Does globalization destroy traditional art forms or create new ones? Does it create crises or foster creativity in dance? This workshop seeks contributions that provide an overview of the emergence, context and/or institutionalization of global dance and body techniques as unique forms of style that keep spreading, i.e. papers that examine empirical case-studies of global dance and movement forms such as Salsa, Irish dancing, Latin dance, rock 'n' roll, Balkan folk dance, aerobics, belly dancing, flamenco as well as health/body movement techniques (Feldenkreis, Pilates, aerobics) and institutions such as dance contests, clubbing, martial arts studios. Finally, the workshop hopes to investigate how global dance is used in various media forms as altered transnational space of the 21st century.

Chair: László Kürti
Discussant: Helena Wulff

This workshop is closed to new paper proposals.

Papers

Pedagogies, aesthetics and notions of being: the cultural footprint of Senegalese dancers' trans-Atlantic movement on New York City Sabar classes

Author: Eleni Bizas (Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies)  email
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Long Abstract

In the 1960s, West African dance forms travelled to America in the form of performance art. Today, Senegalese dance-rhythms Sabar are taught in New York City's dance studios. The classes enchant American students to travel to West Africa and provide an incentive for Senegalese artists to pursue a teaching career in New York. The teachers' transatlantic movement between Senegal and New York is not free but negotiated within the political geography of their movement. As they negotiate boundaries and join in flows, teachers' mobility towards and within New York's Sabar scene 'writes' on the forms, affecting the kinds of Sabar that are available to American students. Avoiding conventional approaches that explore the 'lost' and 'retained' elements of African cultural forms in the New World, this paper explores how participants' negotiated mobility through socio-economic fields relates to ideas of 'authority', notions of being, pedagogical techniques and aesthetics of Sabar in New York.

'Coupé-Décalé' dance in Ivory Coast: body in time of crisis

Author: Yaya Koné (University of littoral and Côte d'Opale)  email
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Long Abstract

For 2000 and the political crisis in Ivory Coast we have noticed a growth both of the sport and the musical phenomenon. Face up to the difficulties, two musical movements did spread from Abidjan to Mali and Burkina Faso. In 2000, the General Guei did a Putsch it was the moment of the Mapouka, a traditional dance from Kru society. This controversial dance was prohibited, in the same time the national team of football was imprisoned because the players were unsuccessful. In 2003, the movement Coupé-Décalé invaded the African youth. Everywhere in the cities of French speaking area people is dancing Coupé-Décalé. The gestures consist in an imitation of football skills. In the Senufo country all ceremonies are accompanied by the 'balani'. Contrary to the Mandeka dance accompanied with the sweeping movements of women on the song of Kora, only the younger are dancing.

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How has Christianity become 'tradition', while the traditional dance has become 'culture' in northern Namibia?

Author: Sayumi Yamakawa  email
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Long Abstract

The notion of 'tradition' and 'culture' are often used interchangeably among the Owambo of Namibia. This is because the term 'culture' in the local language is not defined as clear as 'tradition'. Meanwhile, a recent trend recognises the increasing consciousness about 'culture' among them, resulting from the state's effort to develop a national culture in the post-colonial/apartheid period. Such a national culture consists of local cultures represented by ethnically divided groups of people. Specific traditional elements, such as performances, foods and oral traditions, are selected and displayed both within and beyond a particular community and are officially acknowledged as 'Owambo culture'. In this context, how has Christianity become to be appreciated as 'tradition' but not as 'culture', whereas traditional dance is understood as 'culture' rather than 'tradition'? Aiming to contribute to the recent debate on culture-heritage-tradition, this paper considers shifting meanings of these terms particularly by examining the views and experiences of youth.

The chapayeka ritual clown as a mediator between worlds

Author: Marianna Keisalo (University of Helsinki)  email
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Long Abstract

My research is focused on the chapayekas, ritual clowns who represent Judas in the Yaqui Easter ritual. Clowns could very well be described as "hybrid and metamorphic beings [that] emerge to participate in the performative re-making of reality". There are several realms or worlds involved in the ritual, which encompasses all parts of the Yaqui cosmology. The chapayeka is at the same time indigenous, Catholic, and Other. They wear masks that represent non-Yaqui humans, animals, monsters, mythical figures, and even characters from tv and movies. In this paper I explore the ways the chapayekas mediate between visible and invisible worlds and how this figures in the dynamics of the ritual. I also show how the chapayekas employ doubleness and dialectics in the forms and techniques as well as the contents of their performances. Joking and clowning simultaneously create alternative tropes, both of which participate in the meaning of the performance.

Screening Japanese Virtues through flamenco: gender and the domestication of a global dance

Author: Yolanda van Ede (University of Amsterdam)  email
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Long Abstract

The cultural representation of a world dance displays gender and power relations at a transnational, local, and at a national level. The case of Japan's flamenco scene shows how female dancers may dominate at a local and transnational level; on a national plane, however, it are second rate male instructors who promote flamenco as modern and Japanese in a popular television show. Adapting flamenco for a Japanese mass audience, the program downplays the very aspects that attract women to flamenco: personal expression and passion, which gave flamenco its cosmopolitan quality in the first place. Moreover, the program reconfirms the cliché of the Japanese as master imitator by deemphasizing Japan's distinct flamenco style developed by women in accord with their desired notion of self. If flamenco offers Japanese women a stage to rebel against outdated constructions of femininity, there still is much to stomp for on a national plane.

Dressing the body for a close embrace: movement, authenticity and shoes in Argentine tango

Author: Elia Petridou (University of the Aegean)  email
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Long Abstract

Since the 1980s, Argentinian tango has come back into fashion. In the venues around the globe where tango is danced socially (milongas), a new dancing style has emerged known as 'milonguero'. This is a style of a close embrace and small steps that aspires to be similar to what used to be danced in Buenos Aires in the 1940s. 'Milonguero' has attracted devoted supporters who strongly defend what they perceive as 'authentic' tango. An ethnographic research in the milongas of Athens, Greece sheds light on the politics of authenticity, gender and sexuality by focusing on the role of shoes and clothes in the shaping of body movement in tango.

Flash mob dance: a transnational space for creative resistance or for the extension of consumer capitalism?

Author: Georgiana Gore (Blaise Pascal University Clermont-Ferrand)  email
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Long Abstract

Flash mob dance, one-off collective dance events organised in public spaces through mobile phone and internet communication, is, I suggest, typical of contemporary global dance practice in that it is polymorph and therefore adaptable to local contexts, but maintains certain features which make it a recognisable genre. After mapping the emergence of flash mob dance in the first years of the 21st century, I shall consider how it has become a transnational space for the expression of global crisis and issues, but also a space enabling global consumer capitalism to extend further its tentacles. In July and October 2009, Powershift, annual youth summit for climate change policy, held flash dances in Australia and UK, while in April a 100 'Single ladies' flash mob danced in Picadilly Circus to publicise the singer Beyonce's free Trident gig.

The trauma of violence and injustice in the life and song of Stelios Kazantzidis

Author: Leonidas Economou (Panteion University)  email
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Long Abstract

Stelios Kazantzidis (1931-2001) was one of the most important singers of greek popular music of the past century. He was not only exceptionally popular, but managed to create a real myth around his life and personality and an enduring bond with his followers. In my presentation I try to indicate some of the reasons for this exceptional popularity.

Both through his songs and his life stance, Kazantzidis created and embodied a way of understanding, experiencing and healing the trauma of war, civil war and political persecution, and the pains and dilemmas of commercialization, poverty and injustice. Following a deeply felt inclination and using various cultural materials, he managed to create a powerful discourse about life's meanings and hardships and to appear as a "wounded surgeon" or a heroic saint, who is able to sooth pain and lead the humble and the sorrowful to a moral and decent life.

Transfer of historical oriental-music-therapy-perspectives into modern clinical understanding in Austria

Author: Gerhard Tucek (IMC University of Applied Sciences Krems)  email
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Long Abstract

The first part of the presentation gives a short report about of the transformation-process of historical oriental music-therapy from 9th century into an European system of modern health care in 21st century.

It will be shown, how traditional therapeutic principles were connected to modern clinical and anthropological perspectives. Key words will be: resources, regulation, joy, emotions and needs.

In the second part of the lecture video-examples of clinical music therapy in an intensive care unit and neurologic rehabiltation after stroke will give a practical insight into the results of this process.

An introduction into our methods of evaluation will show, the integration of music-therapeutic and medical point of views.

This workshop is closed to new paper proposals.