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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 This cutting-edge book features previously unpublished work by leading scholars of dance, theatre, politics, and management, alongside renowned contemporary choreographers, who propose innovative ways of looking at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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Part III. Dancers, Rights and Wrongs


PART III Dancers, Rights and Wrongs Naomi M. Jackson 8 Dance and Human Rights No dance can have exclusive rights. Human rights begin with tolerance. Tolerance in the dance world begins in dance schools, performance groups, and on the tiniest stage. Dance can f lourish in any society, whether demo- cratic or dictatorial; human rights cannot. Dancers, choreographers, performers – they too are responsible for making a society that accepts the ideals of ‘freedom, justice, and peace’ and takes responsibility, moral and political responsibility, for the ideas that their dances promote. — Marion Kant 2008: 18 Introduction Throughout history, and across the globe, dance has been engaged to pro- mote strict adherence to repressive ideologies, incite violence and celebrate the spoils of war.1 Dance has also been a powerful vehicle for revealing, resisting and rectifying dif fering forms of abuse and injustice, whether through intentionally choreographed work, therapeutic forms, or as part of broader social movements that engage in wider struggles for justice and peace. As a profession and as an amateur activity, dancing has frequently been regulated through laws, bans and other means, and individual danc- ers have been humiliated, detained, imprisoned, tortured and sometimes killed because what they symbolized and did mattered. Within the dance 1 I would like to acknowledge the extensive ef forts of Toni Shapiro-Phim in formulating some of the ideas expressed in this text, as drawn from the introduction of our co- edited volume Dance, Human Rights, and Social Justice (Scarecrow Press, 2008). 196 Naomi M....

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