It’s been a really long day; so many ideas. Here are a few:
The first panel I went to was about ‘Indigenous Dance and Archives of Activism’. There was a paper on Mohave Bird dancing and singing – Michael Tsosie, Dancing Indigenous Decolonization Dancing Earth (who I am going to see perform on Saturday)- Jacqueline Shea Murphy, and New Hula movements in terms of activism – Adria Imada. A question that resonated across the three papers was the idea of commodification as a counter-colonial tactic. That is the economy to support these dances is often through competition etc.. Such as Pow Wow dancing supporting itself through the pow wow sales and competitions since it is unlikely to get any funding, at that scale, as an art form from Government funding. I thought that it was also to do with placing value on forms that come from cultures that have historically been de-vauled in Western mainstream (art).
Then I went o a workshop on the history of contact improvisation – Nita Little.
· Some great ideas and points of conversations were:
· Opening towards not just making the body available.
· Thinking about pathways in space and in the other body as part of the same thing.
· The world is full of beautiful partners
· Contact improvisation is a rhetoric that teaches a particular politic – goodwill.
· If you start to fall my job is not to save you but to help you find a good way down
All these conversations and ideas were part of a bigger idea that the experience of Contact Improv. and the principles for it to happen are also the same as for wider life. All the above could be about movement or about living in general.
I went to a working lunch: Diversity Working group.
Then I presented my paper. It was part of a panel called ‘How Newness Enters the World: dance (in) Transition’. It went well, some interesting conversations after the presentation. I talked less about identity than I had planned but I think you cannot have too much in one talk. In the paper itself I go much more in to identity and the gaze of the audience.
Then I went to a ‘Outstanding Scholarly Research in dance award plenary’. The award was given to Susan W. Stinson. It was great to hear the history of her work in Dance Education particularly. She talked about the importance of reflection. How she identifies and idea with in her own body (experience) then look to it as a kind of metaphor for a wider understanding and then critiques her ideas using theory. So it starts with a bodily feeling and generates out to a scholarly critical reflection. She talked about the importance to her of:
Curriculum theory: personal narratives, lived experience and embodied description, action research and collaboration.
Voices of young people: interpretive inquiry and critical reflection, research as art-making
She said that rather than looking for X (what I would call ‘answers’) we should attempt to be wide awake. The uncertainty and discomfort of your work is important, just as finding the ‘troubling’ in your work is important because it is part of being wide awake.
Karen E. Bond talking about Sues work said Sue asks two questions
What is the meaning of life?
How shall we live together?
The work must respond to these questions to avoid being trivial. I felt that the idea was that we all have two questions like this and in order to continue to work within a framework that we will not look back at and think we have trivialised what we care about, we must constantly refer to those questions in order to give our work rigour and in order to be ‘wide awake’.
Lastly, I went to a copyright workshop talking about fair use of images and video etc… in scholarly work. It was really useful although I am not sure if the law is at all similar to UK law.