Keith Hennessy talks to Nancy Stark Smith Nov 12

discussion about Contact Improvisation

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Comment by Jeannette Ginslov on August 1, 2017 at 8:10am

Excellent questions and has given much food for thought. You have also opened up an area that hereto has been far too long ignored, namely inequality, race and the politics of festivals in the CI community.

Interestingly enough CI is taught in South African University Dance and Drama Departments to all racial groups and I can testify to that. However not many "black" or other racially defined practitioners and communities continue with the practice, nor take it into their own practice after their studies. They may incorporate some of its characteristics into their work but one does not see a Black practitioner in South Africa solely pursuing CI as an outcome for their practice.  Besides, the Black male dance aesthetic, most predominant in South Africa, in my POV, demonstrates and seeks the virile male virtuosic body. Perhaps this is as a response to a racial inequality of the past and divisive dance training. However the crossover of racial divides did start in around mid 1980's. This was more about White dance practitioners (including myself) learning African Dance techniques and, mainly unsuccessfully, putting it into the mix of Contemporary Dance Techniques learnt from "overseas". (usually only affordable by White dance practitioners)

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