Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-768ffcd9cc-jpcp9 Total loading time: 0.314 Render date: 2022-12-05T05:24:35.928Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "useRatesEcommerce": false } hasContentIssue true

Coloured Swan: Moya Michael's Prowess in the Face of Fetishization in European Dance

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  23 May 2022

Abstract

In my ethnographic fieldwork in the contemporary dance scene in Brussels, I followed closely which struggles Moya Michael had to overcome as a South African maker in the European contemporary dance sector trying to sell her work. As a female artist of color, she cannot escape the fetishistic gaze emphasizing her exoticized body, a body imagined as exotic vis-à-vis institutional whiteness. This article examines how the work environment in the continental European contemporary dance sector forms a breeding ground for the fetishization of Afrodiasporic artists. After unpacking the general issues related to identity in the European contemporary dance sector, this article continues to discuss the dance solo Khoiswan, which Michael created in 2018 as the first part of an ongoing series called Coloured Swans. In this choreographic work, Michael centers and explores her multilayered identity on her own terms.

Type
Article
Copyright
Copyright © The Author(s), 2022. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of the Dance Studies Association

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

Adair, Christy, and Burt, Ramsay, eds. 2016. British Dance: Black Routes. London: Routledge Taylor & Francis Group.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Akinleye, Adesola, ed. 2018. Narratives in Black British Dance: Embodied Practices. Cham, Switz.: Palgrave MacMillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ashcroft, Bill, Griffiths, Gareth, and Tiffin, Helen. 2003. The Empire Writes Back: Theory and Practice in Post-Colonial Literatures. London: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Barba, Fabián. 2016. “The Local Prejudice of Contemporary Dance.” Documenta 34 (2): 4663.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bourdieu, Pierre. 1986. “The Forms of Capital.” In Handbook of Theory and Research for the Sociology of Education, edited by Richardson, John Grissen, 241258. New York: Greenwood Press.Google Scholar
Burt, Ramsay. 2016. Ungoverning Dance: Contemporary European Theatre Dance and the Commons. New York: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Chatterjea, Ananya. 2013. “On the Value of Mistranslations and Contaminations: The Category of ‘Contemporary Choreography’ in Asian Dance.” Dance Research Journal 45 (1): 721.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Dayal, Samir. 2012. “Blackness as Symptom: Josephine Baker and European Identity.” In Blackening Europe: The African American Presence, edited by Raphael-Hernandez, Heike, 3552. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
Dee Das, Joanna. 2017. Katherine Dunham: Dance and the African Diaspora. New York: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
DeFrantz, Thomas F., and González, Anita, eds. 2014. Black Performance Theory. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.Google Scholar
Dery, Mark, ed. 1994. “Black to the Future: Interviews with Samuel R. Delany, Greg Tate, and Tricia Rose.” In Flame Wars: The Discourse of Cyberculture, 179–222. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.Google Scholar
Gaiser, Carrie. 2006. “Caught Dancing: Hybridity, Stability, and Subversion in Dance Theatre of Harlem's Creole ‘Giselle.’” Theatre Journal 58 (2): 269289.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
George-Graves, Nadine. 2010. Urban Bush Women: Twenty Years of African American Dance Theater, Community Engagement, and Working It Out. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press.Google Scholar
González, Anita. 2010. Afro-Mexico: Dancing between Myth and Reality. Austin: University of Texas Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Gottschild, Brenda Dixon. 2003. The Black Dancing Body: A Geography from Coon to Cool. New York: Palgrave MacMillan/Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Grau, Andrée. 2007. “Dance, Identity, and Identification Processes in the Postcolonial World.” In Dance Discourses: Keywords in Dance Research, edited by Franco, Susanne and Nordera, Marina, 189207. Abingdon, UK: Routledge.Google Scholar
Hall, Stuart. 1990. “Cultural Identity and Diaspora.” In Identity: Community, Culture, Difference, edited by Rutherford, Jonathan, 222237. London: Lawrence & Wishart.Google Scholar
Janssens, Joris, Leenknegt, Simon, and Hesters, Delphine. 2019. Landschapstekening Kunsten [Landscape overview]. Brussels: Kunstenpunt.Google Scholar
Jones, Adanna K. 2016. “Take a Wine and Roll ‘IT’!: Breaking through the Circumscriptive Politics of the Trini/Caribbean Dancing Body.” PhD diss., University of California, Riverside.Google Scholar
Kagné, Bonaventure, and Martiniello, Marco. 2001. “L'immigration subsaharienne en Belgique.” Courrier hebdomadaire du CRISP, no. 16: 549.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Laermans, Rudi. 2015. Moving Together: Making and Theorizing Contemporary Dance. Amsterdam: Valiz.Google Scholar
Lockward, Alanna. 2019. “Call and Response: Conversations with Three Women Artists on Afropean Decoloniality.” In A Companion to Feminist Art, edited by Robinson, Hilary and Buszek, Maria Elena, 419435. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lorde, Audre. 1984. “The Master's Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master's House.” In Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches, 110114. Berkeley, CA: Crossing Press.Google Scholar
Manovich, Lev. 2007. “Deep Remixability.” Artifact: Journal of Design Practice 1 (2): 7684.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Michael, Moya. 2016. Interviewed by the author. September 21. Audio and transcription.Google Scholar
Michael, Moya. 2018. “Script for subtitles Coloured Swan 1: Khoiswan.” Kosmonaut Productions, Antwerp. Unpublished manuscript.Google Scholar
Michael, Moya. 2019. Interviewed by the author. June 13. Field notes, Antwerp, Belgium.Google Scholar
Michael, Moya. 2021. Interviewed by the author. February 4. Field notes, Brussels, Belgium.Google Scholar
Michael, Moya, and Kanobana, Sibo. 2021. “On the Colour of the Swan.” Unpublished manuscript.Google Scholar
Mitra, Royona. 2017. “Beyond Fixity: Akram Khan on the Politics of Dancing Heritages.” In Rethinking Dance History: Issues and Methodologies, edited by Morris, Geraldine and Nicholas, Larraine, 3243. London: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Nelson, Alondra, ed. 2002. “Introduction: Future Texts.” In “Afrofuterism,” special issue, Social Text 20 (2): 115.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Robertson, Sarah. 2018. “What's between Black & White?” Review of Coloured Swan 1: Khoiswan. The Critter (South Africa), March 9.Google Scholar
T'Jonck, Pieter. 2013. “Dance in Flanders 2007–2013: An Outline of the Dance Landscape.” In Perspective: Dance, edited by Vlaams Theater Instituut (VTi), 11–30, (printed by Newgoff).Google Scholar
Uzor, Tia-Monique. 2018. “Negotiating African Diasporic Identity in Dance: Brown Bodies Creating and Existing in the British Dance Industry.” In Narratives in Black British Dance: Embodied Practices, edited by Akinleye, Adesola, 3750. Cham, Switz.: Palgrave MacMillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Van Assche, Annelies. 2020. Labor and Aesthetics in European Contemporary Dance: Dancing Precarity. Cham, Switz.: Palgrave MacMillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Van Wyk, Steven. 2012. “Ballet Blanc to Ballet Black: Performing Whiteness in Post-Apartheid South African Dance.” In Post-Apartheid Dance: Many Bodies Many Voices Many Stories, edited by Friedman, Sharon, 3150. Newcastle, UK: Cambridge Scholars.Google Scholar
Vos, Staf. 2012. Dans in België 1890–1940. [Dance in Belgium 1890–1940]. Leuven, BE: Leuven University Press.Google Scholar
Womba Konga, Pitcho. 2021. “Congolisation 2021.” KVS (website). Accessed November 3, 2021. https://www.kvs.be/en/agenda/themas/118/Congolisation_2021.Google Scholar
Supplementary material: PDF

Van Assche supplementary material

Van Assche supplementary material

Download Van Assche supplementary material(PDF)
PDF 72 KB

Save article to Kindle

To save this article to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Coloured Swan: Moya Michael's Prowess in the Face of Fetishization in European Dance
Available formats
×

Save article to Dropbox

To save this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Coloured Swan: Moya Michael's Prowess in the Face of Fetishization in European Dance
Available formats
×

Save article to Google Drive

To save this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Coloured Swan: Moya Michael's Prowess in the Face of Fetishization in European Dance
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response

Please enter your response.

Your details

Please enter a valid email address.

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *