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Isadora Duncan’s danced revolution

, when her shawl got tangled in the wheel of a car and she broke her spine. Duncan’s work was always entrenched in the social conditions of her time. Her reception, I will show, was intertwined with the tensions of a woman whose existence brought the dance of the future to the present, when the present wasn’t always ready to fully comprehend her. Duncan lived her life between worlds; at the same time the main tool for intervention was her own body, thus she was never without a world. Isadora Duncan’s performance arc is an instance par excellence of sic-​sensuous and a

in Dance and politics
Martha Graham, dance and politics

explain the tension between their centrality in twentieth-​century choreographic revolutions and absence within the world of political theory. Interventions in and through the female body are now taking centre stage, after years of being shifted to the wings of political philosophy. Some analyses in dance studies have focused upon Graham’s artistic response to the political events of her time. Helen Thomas quotes from an interview with Graham claiming that there was no intention on her part to choreograph dances of social or political protest (Thomas 50 50 Dance and

in Dance and politics
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action and our interpretation of politics and political theory more broadly. Jodi Dean’s careful examination of the Occupy movement in The Communist Horizon, in which, quite literally, bodies intervened in public spaces in order to reconsider distributive justice; Jane Bennett’s crucial intervention into the humanist and language-​driven world of political theory, Vibrant Matter; and Diana Coole and Samantha Frost’s edited collection New Materialisms opened up a vista for scholars and theorists seeking new ways to consider the body in its relationship to the physical

in Dance and politics
Gumboot dance in South Africa

performances. I release the intervention illuminated in the choreography of Martha Graham into conditions in which speech was rendered impossible by economic, legal and political frameworks. Gumboot dance developed as a method of communication within systems of racial segregation in which speech was prohibited. Verbal communication was not allowed in the gold mines, nor were black South Africans allowed to enter the public sphere, hence their opinions and voices were silenced. I argue that the development of gumboot dance allowed for two parallel processes:  firstly, the

in Dance and politics
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The dancer of the future dancing radical hope

Eleanor’s own inscription upon history. Further, I draw my use of this text from the powerful reading of this argument in context in Rachel Holmes’s groundbreaking biography where the use of those categories is intimately related to Eleanor’s understanding of history; in which beyond the dialectical view presented by her father she sees her intervention as the next stage as ‘the sequel’ (Holmes 2014: 449). Eleanor Marx (known as ‘Tussy’) provides us with what these radical democratic critiques of Lear’s virtue ethics seek: a category of action that in its very becoming

in Dance and politics
One Billion Rising, dance and gendered violence

and through which political interventions are brought into being. This chapter focuses on the connection between utilising the body as a mechanism of political intervention in the public space and interventions into the body itself. One Billion Rising is a protest movement that explicitly utilises dance to convey a political message. I move from examining the movement’s own interpretation of dance as it is communicated in words, the weak reading of political dance, to exploring the grassroots response to the movement’s verbal message, and finally I  discuss the

in Dance and politics
Writing on the body

11 1 Moving beyond boundaries: writing on the body The book is written by many bodies who danced and inscribed their worlds upon the intersections between dance and politics. The argument is a three-​dimensional space bounded by three axes; in this chapter I elaborate, explore and problematise the three axes which demarcate the space of the argument. The ontology upon which the argument acts is twofold. On the one hand the argument is grounded in the dancing bodies of those subjects whose political intervention has written upon the argument. On the other hand

in Dance and politics
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enforcement of the human rights doctrine. Those moments may go unnoticed when focusing on verbal language only. 103 Dancing human rights 103 Thirdly, sic-​sensuous focuses on acts of inscription that go beyond one singular performance. When subjects are denied spaces to perform their equality they may create alternative spaces through dance. Those spaces are not momentary interventions. They are lasting spaces of resistance towards human rights abuses. This allows for further attentiveness of the reader–​spectator towards acts of opposition against the degrading and

in Dance and politics