- 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
This chapter describes the structures of power embodied in dance training methods at the material level, the effect that this has on the dancers, and the philosophical and ideological means through which such structures can be understood. The chapter revisits Australian dance theorist Elizabeth Dempster’s (2002, 2005) application of Michel Foucault’s theories of “discipline” and the “docile body” in in her analysis of the oppositional dance techniques of classical ballet and ideokinesis. It returns to this debate to better articulate how the competition inherent in many codified dance forms is opposed to the kind of (un)disciplined labor involved in somatic-based practices. This labor engages sensory acuity to attend to somatic intelligence (bodily forms of knowledge) to access new information and possibilities. This project requires an extension of current terminology, specifically extending Foucault’s notion of surveillance as a kind of self-surveillance, which can be further bifurcated as prohibitive and emancipatory.
Nalina Wait is Lecturer at Australian College of Physical Education and current PhD candidate at the University of New South Wales (UNSW), researching the nexus of improvised performance practice and somatic intelligence. She coauthored a chapter with Erin Brannigan, ‘(Non) competitive Body States: Corporeal Freedom and Innovation in Contemporary Dance’ (Oxford University Press, 2018). She has presented her research at the following symposia: Dance as Experience (at Centre de recherché sur les arts et le language, at Ecole des hautes études en sciences sociales, Paris, 2015); (at Sydney University, 2015); Improvisational Practices Symposium (at Critical Path, Sydney 2014); and Cultures of Change (at UNSW, Sydney 2013). She worked as a professional performer for twenty-five years in award-winning works by Sue Healey, as well as with Hans Van Den Broeck, Danceworks, Nikki Haywood, Devastation Menu, Sydney Performance Group, Rosalind Crisp, Marina Abramović, and Joan Jonas and in many improvisational settings.
Erin Brannigan (PhD) is Senior Lecturer in Dance at the University of New South Wales and works in the fields of dance and film as an academic and curator. Her recent publications include Dancefilm: Choreography and the Moving Image (2011) and Bodies of Thought: 12 Australian Choreographers, co-edited with Virginia Baxter (2014).
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