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date: 29 February 2020

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.

Keywords: Gaga, neoliberalism, Naharin, dance, competition, choreography

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