- Copyright Page
- Introduction: Competition Culture: Winning and Losing at Dance
- Taking the Cake: Black Dance, Competition, and Value
- You’ve Got to Sell It!: Performing on the Dance Competition Stage
- Competitive Capers: Gender, Gentility, and Dancing in Early Modern England
- Endangered Strangers: Tracking Competition in US Federal Dance Funding
- Marking Your Territory: The Struggle to Work in Flamenco
- Reappropriating Choreographies of Authenticity in Mexico: Competitions and the Dance of the Old Men
- Above and Beyond the Battle: Virtuosity and Collectivity within Televised Street Dance Crew Competitions
- Shifting Dynamics: <i>Sean Nós</i> Dancing, Vernacular Expression, and the Competitive Arena of the <i>Oireachtas</i>
- Visible Rhythms: Competition in English Tap Practice
- The International Dancehall Queen Competition: A Discursive Space for Competing Images of Femininity
- Congratulations, We Wish You Success: Competition and Community Participation in Romanian Dance Festivals
- Non-Competitive Body States: Corporeal Freedom and Innovation in Contemporary Dance
- Reclaiming Competitive Tango: The Rise of Argentina’s <i>Campeonato Mundial</i>
- Dance-Off, or a Battle for the Future: Dance Reality Shows in India
- Miss Exotic World: Judging the Neo-Burlesque Movement
- Rapper Dance Adjudication: Aesthetics, Discourse, and Decision-Making
- Dismantling the Genre: Reality Dance Competitions and Layers of Affective Intensification
- Why Are Breaking Battles Judged?: The Rise of International Competitions
- Not Another Don Quixote!: Negotiating China’s Position on the International Ballet Stage
- Dancing with the Asian American Stars: Margaret Cho and the Failure to Win
- Loss of Face: Intimidation, Derision, and Failure in the Hip-Hop Battle
- Making Play Work: Competition, Spectacle, and Intersubjectivity in Hybrid Martial Arts
- You Can’t Outdo Black People: <i>Soul Train</i>, Queer Witnessing, and Pleasurable Competition
- Freedom to Compete: Neoliberal Contradictions in Gaga Intensives
- “We’ll Rumble ’em Right”: Aggression and Play in the Dance-Offs of <i>West Side Story</i>
- Dancing like a Man: Competition and Gender in the New Orleans Second Line
- Man and Money Ready: Challenge Dancing in Antebellum America
- Afterword: Who Is Competing?
Abstract and Keywords
Gaga, the movement language developed by Israeli choreographer Ohad Naharin, is advertised as “an experience of freedom and pleasure” in which students are encouraged to move at their own pace and not compare themselves to others, yet there are several aspects of the intensives that fall in line with contemporary neoliberal ideals of individualism and competition, such as the rehearsal of choreography and the presence of the creator of Gaga. This chapter explores the contradictions at Gaga dance intensives between the practice’s philosophical imperative to focus on the self and pleasure, and the desire of many dancers to impress the teachers and gain professional contacts or jobs. The chapter argues that the idyllic philosophies of Gaga are unable to neatly exist in the competitive socioeconomic climate of the contemporary concert dance world, urging a rethinking of how dancers participate in both corporeal and corporate economies.
Meghan Quinlan is a Lecturer in Dance at Kennesaw State University. She holds a PhD in Critical Dance Studies from University of California, Riverside, and a BA in Dance and English from Marymount Manhattan College. Her current research uses Gaga, Ohad Naharin’s movement language, as a case study to explore politics of technique, nationalism, neoliberalism, and gender in international contemporary concert dance trends.
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