What particular aesthetics and politics emerge when we place dance and music as central to critiquing issues of social injustice and connectivity? This interdisciplinary panel engages with performance studies, dance studies, critical race studies, and queer studies to examine performance across China, the Philippines, India, the U.S., and social media in the contemporary period. Fangfei Miao explores a Chinese concert street dance The Yellow River (2018) and how the performance combines movement vocabulary of hip-hop and Jazz, once rejected by institutions, with the music Yellow River Piano Concerto, and thus gains resonance with the socialist ideologies. J. Lorenzo Perillo links Black performance theory to how Manila-based queer Filipinxs use racialized movement to express alternatives to the colonial ties between racialized movement, aggressiveness, and masculinity. Pallavi Sriram chronicles Afro-Arab dance bands known as marfa in Hyderabad which bring together Yemeni drumming, Bantu moves, and South Indian music and highlights how their band leaders’ geo-maneuvers re-affirm particularities of minoritized community and place in the digital era. Alessandra Williams analyzes how Ananya Dance Theatre’s Horidraa: Golden Healing (2016) builds an alliance with Black Lives Matter Movements through choreographies rooted in research, community engagement, and intersectional embodiment. The four scholars, situated in the U.S. East Coast, Midwest, Mountain West, and the Pacific, reflect private liberal arts colleges and public research universities and locate their work across different modes of performance—concert dance, social dance, pedagogical, community-based dance, and geo-tagging band leaders—to foreground artistic practice as a critical locus for understanding social justice and transformation.
Paper Presenter: Fangfei Miao – University of Michigan
Paper Presenter: J. Lorenzo Perillo – University of Hawaii at Manoa
Paper Presenter: Pallavi Sriram – The Colorado College
Paper Presenter: Alessandra Lebea Williams – Rutgers University-New Brunswick