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Book Chapter


Dance (Pomona), Theatre (Pomona)

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dance, power, representation, human rights


I argue that the power to represent is not only power in a theoretical Foucauldian sense, but the power of representation, especially of those powerless to resist the field of representation provided by state-supported national dance ensembles, is a very real power. Dance scholars have begun to look at issues of representation and dance and human rights within fascist and communist contexts of the past, as well as questioning the stances toward dance taken by theocratic regimes like that of the Islamic Republic and Iran and the former Taliban regime of Afghanistan. I also suggest that the actual content of the dances, as well as their context, needs to be interrogated to provide details of the ways in which dance can be utilized by specific regimes to choreographically denigrate and erase the presence of unwanted and unpopular ethnic and minority groups.


From Balkan Dance: Essays on Characteristics, Performance and Teaching © 2008 Edited by Anthony Shay by permission of McFarland & Company, Inc., Box 611, Jefferson NC 28640.

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© 2008 Anthony Shay

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