|Title||Dance culture and statuary politics: Chiang Kai-Shek and the myth of primitivism|
Dance is often assumed to have universal values and to manifest a spirit of freedom, especially individual freedom. It is also the case that such freedom is perceived to be deeply rooted in the condition of humanity. In this article Gregory Sporton shows how these assumptions can mislead us about the basis on which dance operates. By citing the body as the original manifestation of expression, and linking dance practice to primitive experience, a sentimental picture of ourselves as dancers emerges. Taking dance practice in Taiwan as an example, the author shows how this ‘naturalist argument’ can be exploited by a political culture and in doing so divert questions of identity. For the visiting observer, dance appears to evidence political culture and social aspiration, identities that are fixed in the present rather than the archaic past. Gregory Sporton has had a substantial performing career in ballet, contemporary dance, opera, and performance art. He is Head of the School for Performance and Moving Image at the University of Central England.
|Journal||New Theatre Quarterly|
|Journal citation||20 (3), pp. 280 - 285|
|Publisher||Cambridge University Press|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI)||https://doi.org/10.1017/s0266464x04000168|
|Web address (URL)||http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?eid=2-s2.0-63849315629&partnerID=MN8TOARS|