1st Edition

Dancing in the World Revealing Cultural Confluences

    150 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    How can we create more inclusive spaces in the field of dance?

    This book presents a framework for dance practitioners and researchers working in diverse dance cultures to navigate academia and the professional dance field. The framework is based on the idea of "cultural confluences," conjuring up an image of bodies of water meeting and flowing into and past one another, migrating through what the authors refer to as the mainstream and non-mainstream. These streams are fluid categories that are associated with power, privilege, and the ability (or inability) to absorb other cultural forms in shared dance spaces. In reflective interludes and dialogues, Emoghene and Spanos consider the effects of migration on their own individual experiences in dance to understand what it means to carry culture through the body in various spaces. Through an analysis of language, aesthetic values, spaces, creative processes, and archival research practices, the book offers a collaborative model for communicating the value that marginalized dance communities bring to the field.

    This book will be of great interest to students, scholars, and arts administrators in dance.


    Introduction: Revealing cultural confluences

    Chapter 1: Language, value, and branding in confluent dance spaces

    Chapter 2: Critical engagement with aesthetic systems in dance

    Chapter 3: Navigating cultural confluences and envisioning new spaces

    Chapter 4: Choreography, improvisation, and "just steps"

    Chapter 5: Cultural knowledge production in dance academia



    Sinclair Ogaga Emoghene, M.F.A., is a choreographer, dancer, researcher, and assistant professor at Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA, USA.

    Kathleen A. Spanos, Ph.D., is a dancer, educator, and scholar who is a co-founder of the arts non-profit EducArte and assistant director of communications for the University of Maryland Honors College.

    "Dancing in the World: Revealing Cultural Confluences is a significant and valuable contribution to minority dance cultures and proposes a new approach to aesthetics in Western dance. Emoghene and Spanos write from a personal perspective, revealing experientially and from the depth of their hearts the struggle to be seen and heard as dancers. In pushing for confluent spaces, they describe a methodology for investigating lesser understood dance forms to give room for proper appreciation." Christopher Ugolo, Professor of African Dance, University of Benin

    "Emoghene and Spanos challenge systems of privilege and hierarchy in dance academia in the United States and propose more inclusive structures that make space for dancers from all communities to work on their own terms. Dancing in the World: Revealing Cultural Confluences is engaging and thought-provoking, and provides rich insights into the diverse experiences of the co-authors, as non-mainstream dancers and educators within third-level educational systems in the United States." Catherine E. Foley, Senior Lecturer Emerita of Ethnochoreology, University of Limerick

    "Dancing in the World: Revealing Cultural Confluences not only weaves together concerns of aesthetics, pedagogy and dance, but also brings to the table new ways to consider data and technology as a tool for learning and understanding about movement, people and the world. By bringing our attention to their own experiences and practices, Emoghene and Spanos provide a lens for digital autoethnography of dancing in the twenty-first century." Kate Sicchio, Assistant Professor of Dance, Virginia Commonwealth University