“The choreographed politics of intimacies”
With COVID and the digital move to offer dance (and dance festivals) via on-line platforms and digital spaces, one of the results has been an upsurge of deeply intimate dance and screen dance work. This colloquium took as provocation the (revised) words of Mexican poet and scholar Luis Vicente de Aguinaga that “even though every kind of politics needs a public square to exist, the politics of [dance] takes place in an intimate square”. The seeming collapse of public and private, and the mostly private homebound consumption of dance in digital spaces, provided an interesting and significant terrain to interrogate (amongst other factors like race and gender), Africa’s digital divides and what it means for African dance makers to engage the ‘politics of intimacy’ within digital dance spaces. The colloquium thus sought to engage the ‘intimacies’ of new ways of imaging/consuming/producing the creation of dance work for digital spaces that also – ironically and concurrently – have global reach. This is also set against the rise of gender -based violence during national COVID lock downs, and the ongoing understanding that private spaces (the intimacies of ‘home’) consistently remain a battle ground for many women (and women artists).
The colloquium set out to explore/interrogate:
a. how political, economic, social, cultural and technological forces are (re)shaping the meanings of intimacy in dance making in Africa (and the African Diaspora) in the recent wake of COVID-19.
b. past and present African/African Diaspora histories of live dance work that has set up shifted boundaries around ‘intimacy’ whether this has been through re-imagined performance spaces, audience engagements, choreographic process and delivery, and the actual narratives of the performance.
Dr. Lliane Loots
Artistic Director and Curator:
JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Experience