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Dance and Politics

Edited By Alexandra Kolb

This is the first anthology to explore the fertile intersection of dance and political studies. It offers new perspectives on the connections of dance to governmental, state and party politics, war, nationalism, activism, terrorism, human rights, political ideologies and cultural policy. This cutting-edge book features previously unpublished work by leading scholars of dance, theatre, politics, and management, alongside renowned contemporary choreographers, who propose innovative ways of looking at twentieth- and twenty-first-century dance.
Topics covered range across the political spectrum: from dance tendencies under fascism to the use of choreography for revolutionary socialist ends; from the capacity of dance to reflect the modern market economy to its function in campaigns for peace and justice. The book also contains a comprehensive introduction to the relations between dance and politics.
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9 About Not About Iraq


In Fall 2007, I premiered a dance piece entitled Not About Iraq. An ensemble work for six dancers plus myself, the piece used spoken word and dance to deliver conflicting layers of information. Not About Iraq is about the manipulation of meaning and I, the choreographer, sometimes stood in for larger (political) forces of meaning making. Since the premiere, performances have taken place in Sweet Briar (Virginia), Los Angeles (my home town), Chicago, New York, Washington, DC, Helena, Minneapolis, and Long Beach.

I welcome the opportunity to write about this dance, to understand what it is, and to know better where I am having made it. But to write about the discoveries and questions Not About Iraq gave rise to, is also to consider the phenomenon of a dance: its lack offixity and its multiple ways of being apprehended.

Spreading her arms wide, Taisha Paggett says: This is a dance.

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