Longing for the Subaltern

Subaltern historiography as choreographic tactic

Authored by: Cynthia Ling Lee

The Routledge Companion to Dance Studies

Print publication date:  November  2019
Online publication date:  October  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138234581
eBook ISBN: 9781315306551
Adobe ISBN:


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How might subaltern critiques of history be translated into choreographic tactics that allow dance artists to grapple with their multiple entangled histories while making room for contradiction and ambiguity? How can techniques for writing subaltern pasts offer ways for contemporary post/colonial dance makers to choreograph their complicated desires for that which has been hidden, lost, or obscured by hegemonic histories? How are these desires complicated by these artists’ partial access to dominant systems of representation, by their simultaneous marginalization and privilege, by the ways that colonization and cultural imperialism have interrupted their connection to subaltern lineages and ways of knowing? This chapter uses Meena Murugesan’s we used to see this (Murugesan 2013) and my blood run (Lee 2016) as case studies to explore the translation of subaltern theory into choreographic praxis.

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