The Dancing Body, Power and the Transmission of Collective Memory in Apartheid South Africa

Authored by: Catherine F. Botha

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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Gerard Samuel, director of the School of Dance at the University of Cape Town, posits, “in no other colonised country were dancing bodies more destructively subjected to disempowerment and disembodiment than in Apartheid South Africa” (Samuel 2011, 41). What exactly could be said to constitute the disempowerment and disembodiment of dancing bodies that Samuel names? Are there any other lenses through which the subjection of the dancing body under apartheid can be analyzed, besides the two offered by Samuel?

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