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date: 17 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The introduction outlines the myriad ways in which competition impacts dance, and how dance moves through and in response to this framework of aspiration, judgment, and worth. It considers the implicit competition on the concert stage as dancers compete to secure positions in prestigious companies and choreographers hustle to attract audiences and secure funding; the one-upmanship that emerges through the informal contests of social dance practice; the ubiquity of dance competition scenarios on the popular screen; as well as formal dance competitions with judges, prizes, winners, and losers. The introduction notes how dance is embedded within a neoliberal economy that favors individual success and free-market competition; yet it also argues that models of competition exist that are community-oriented, and that dancing bodies can employ tactics of resistance or critique through moving in ways that reveal and undermine the power structures of competition.

Keywords: concert, dance, dance competition, neoliberalism, winner, loser

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