How Dance Can Become Political In Society
21st century movement artist like myself experienced a large shift in the political climate during our artistic development. With the help of social media and other mainstream platforms. We have all been conditioned to be more socially aware. Even in art forms such as dance.
Because dance has a long history racial profiling, type casting, and gender privileges. Certain political conversations can be started. If not started, then the ideas can be introduced through creativity.
“Attempts to understand political events through dance have a long history. In the 1930s and 1940s Anna Sokolow used dance to tackle the American Depression and rights of workers.”
In the 1950s, Southland by Katherine Dunham projected lynching to highlight the treatment of African Americans in the southern states of the US. The creation was never actually performed in the US itself and Dunham suffered professionally for her fearlessness.
More recently, Alvin Ailey’s Masekela Language, first created in 1969 and still in the company repertoire, highlighted parallels between South African apartheid and racial discrimination in Chicago.
Even figures in dance such as Misty Copeland who is known as the first African American principle dancer with the American Ballet Theatre. Plays a significant role in combating race inequalities in Classical dance. Also, Addison Ector a soloist with Complexions Contemporary Ballet who breaks gender norms in being one of the first male dancers to perform pointe work in creations.
Art & politics go hand in hand when making an impact in society. Be mindful of what your journey is and where that awareness can take you consciously.