A brief history of choreocracy is taken from The Hospitality a game by Tova Gerge, Ebba Petrén & Gabriel Widing.
Welcome to this quick lecture about the history of choreocracy.
In ancient Greece, the choreocracy was developed as a technique for making collective decisions in which all free men could participate, that is, 30% of the population.
In this post I follow a convention of including – wherever possible – images of key people cited as a reminder that although ideas are memetic and not particular to people, if we are to recognise acts of authorship it is useful to highlight that they are particular people with bodies. (Conventional citation hides gender even) bodies that provide the foundation for their thought. I think it’s important to somehow root their ideas in their bodies or at least try to make clear that these ideas aren’t abstract things floating around a library but were born of particular bodies.
The embarrassing fact is, as you will see, that the citations are almost entirely white men. Whose fault is this – the library’s? the academy’s? the discipline’s? mine? Well I am part of all of these (except the library) to varying degrees so it is my responsibility. This is not uncommon (the norm I think) but is still something to take responsibility for. I highly recommend reading Sarah Ahmed’s post about white men (for her current book she has a policy of not citing any white men).
So making visible this unsurprising bias is a small first step but the real business is to read more widely, something that probably requires the kind of firm policy that Ahmed is employing since every bookshelf is a sausagefest. So I wonder whether I should post this at all. I think there is something in it but it is undermined by an increasing sense of blinkered parochialism.
In what ways does community dance practice and rhetoric link to politics?
Community dance is defined by its emphasis on process (rather than product) and benefits of the process on individuals and communities. These benefits coincide with national priorities of government and this explains the traditional support given to community dance by national government in the UK until recently.
However a less traditional understanding of community dance that runs into social choreography points to a different form of Political currency.
We are hard-wired to be disgusted by secretions, decay and disease. Although Britain is somewhat lax on the cleanliness ‘front’, it’s generally assumed now that scientific advances have shown us the importance of regular washing for our biological health.
Here’s some writing by Sarah Rubridge from 1989 about the implications of violent repetitious choreography. I think it’s still relevant 25 years on. The images were selected by me.
“The vocabulary employed by many artists [whose work address political issues] is based on the conventions of physical theatre which has its own political agenda. The movement is often violent and frequently self-abusive, their actions genuinely risky and replete with repressed (and expressed) anger.
It’s not really news to point out that award winning TV show The Big Bang Theory is a load of sexist shit. I have to admit however that I do sometimes watch it.
Since it started in 2007, a running joke has been that one of the main characters Howard Wolowitz (Simon Helberg) has a really needy/ controlling mother, that we never see her just hear her (Carol Ann Susi) shouting from elsewhere in their shared house.
There’s a good tradition of unseen sit com characters but I think the joke here works because (we are told) that Mrs Wolowitz is immensely overweight and hirsute – a ‘horror’ hard to cast and only enhanced by leaving it in our imagination.
Mrs Wolowitz also sometimes needs to be cared for by her son and I suspect this is another image that mainstream TV wants to hide from us. I think we don’t like generally to see people that are overweight or sick.
I’m a bit late with this one but I wanted to write something about the ridicule that Ed Milliband received for eating a bacon sandwich inelegantly.
On one level I think it’s a bit rude to take a photo of someone eating. It’s not often going to be pretty. Continue reading
I’d like to look look at the idea of somatic citizenship – how citizenship can be understood not only as an abstract legal idea but as something that is embodied and performed.