Tag Archives: cultural appropriation and dance

Performing arguments: The Roots . . . And then you shoot your cousin

Okayplayer has a slightly obtuse review of the live performance of The Roots new album.  The album is called . . . And then you shoot your cousin.  Here is a snippet from the review by Eddie “Stats” which highlights the use of performance to make some interesting arguments:

Questlove is at the decks now and as the lights strobe a massive avalanche of balloon animals suddenly falls on the stage, a Jeff Koons flood of meaningless forms, falling in the framedrop slo-mo created by the flash of the strobe. A doo-ragged character enters the stage, humming, holding a gigantic red balloon like a kite. There’s something clownish in his dancerly movements, he has his mouth absurdly open, recalling at once a mime, Flavor Flav in wop-mode, the broom-wielding enforcer of the Apollo as he sweeps balloons away in the wake of his feet. In silence his dance picks up in intensity and his movements resemble Flav less than legendary b-boy choreographer Pee Wee Danz. As he steps and swims through balloons, the pop of dying inflatables echo like gunshots. We are fully in Fluxus territory now, improvisation colliding with a wickeder kind of randomness to create an ‘anything could happen’ tension in the room.

via The Roots chop up their new LP into art live (photos + recap) Okayplayer.

The Roots performing live among some balloon animals.  Photo by Mel D. Cole taken with respect from Okayplayer.

The Roots performing live among some balloon animals. Photo by Mel D. Cole taken with respect from Okayplayer.

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Filed under art, communication, dance, hip hop, music, race, representation, resistance

Power, autonomy, body and twerking: Kimari Brand

Brilliant breakdown of twerking and bodily representation.  Smart insights from Kimari Brand about power and the significance of the dance form (film by Irma L. Garcia).  Brought to me by the ever-on-point Feministing.  Good preview of the video by Sesali Bowen in Feministing:

Utilizing multiple experiences — including a course on performance, feminism and social justice, a trip abroad to study Afro-Caribbean culture and politics, and her experiences as a Black girl at an institution of higher education that prioritizes white supremacist “credibility and status” — Brand has reframed the dialogue about twerking.

via “Twerk It Girl” examines twerking for autonomy and resistance.

I think twerking is at the heart of a lot of the moral panics about young women’s sexuality.  More particularly the moral panic attached to twerking is represented along racial and/or sexual and/or class lines depending on the expected audience (Miley Cyrus).  Worth discussion and re-presenting which Brand and the filmmaker Garcia do really well.

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Filed under academics, art, class, cultural appropriation, dance, documentary, feminism, hip hop, race, representation, resistance, rhetoric