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date: 27 September 2020

Abstract and Keywords

In 2004, comedian Dave Chappelle brought residents of Yellow Springs, Ohio, and New York City together in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, for a hip-hop block party featuring a roster of socially engaged rap and neo-soul artists. This chapter argues that the 2006 film of the concert, Dave Chappelle’s Block Party, directed by Michel Gondry, endeavors to construct a utopian community centered on the birthplace of hip-hop. Employing dance studies methodologies to examine a non-dance event, this article attends to the choreography of the block, the party attendees and performers, and their spontaneous solo and group gestures and movements at the block party. Such an approach emphasizes the corporeality of the concert performers and attendees and allows an examination of their bodily signification in terms of race, gender, ideology, power, and ultimately the nation.

Keywords: Dave Chappelle, Michel Gondry, hip-hop, block party, corporeality, choreography

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