Democratising Moves: Power, Agency & the Body

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Recently, the word ‘democracy’ has featured prominently in the press, with calls to restore it, save it from ominous threats, and expose challenges to its principles, all predicated on an assumed understanding of the concept. The roots of today’s political democracies are often located in the 18th century revolutions of the USA and France and continue to reinforce Euro-American values and ideas of nation. The transfer of power remains a defining principle, shifting control from an elite to a multitude. How do the principles that inspired democratic revolutions relate to the ballot box versions of democracy today? The article considers contemporary complexities of democracy as a concept, offering examples of how it is embodied through iconography, gestures of defiance and civil disobedience. Democratic values are explored in more formal choreography and in creative processes that establish associations to political agency.

© 2017, Dans i Skolen. The attached document is an author produced version of a paper published in the Nordic Journal of Dance, uploaded with permission from the publisher. Some minor differences between this version and the final published version may remain. We suggest you refer to the final published version should you wish to cite from it.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-17
Number of pages12
JournalNordic Journal of Dance - practice, education and research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 21 Dec 2017
EventDance & Democracy conference: International Conference, Nordic Forum for Dance Research - University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden
Duration: 14 Jun 201717 Jan 2018
Conference number: 13


  • dance
  • democracy
  • politics

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