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- 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
This chapter explores competitive street dance crew choreography in relation to interdisciplinary theoretical frameworks regarding virtuosity and excess. Through a close analysis of five performances featured on the British television talent shows of Britain’s Got Talent and Got to Dance, this chapter examines the concept of virtuosity as transcendence in relation to the continued emphasis on technology and the street dance body. Through the choreographic application of animation techniques, synchronicity, the construction of “meta-bodies,” and the narrative of ordinary versus extraordinary, this chapter reveals that crews create the illusion of transgression through their affinity with technology, while also competing with their cinematic counterparts. Through this analysis, this chapter further reveals the negotiation between the individualistic nature of the virtuoso and the crew collective within the neoliberal capitalist framework of the competition.
Laura Robinson (PhD) is a popular dance scholar and Lecturer in Dance: Urban Practices at the University of East London. Her doctoral research focused on the construction and performance of spectacle in male street dance crew performances on British television talent shows. Publications include chapters in Bodies of Sound (2013) and The Oxford Handbook of Dance and the Popular Screen (2014).
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