Dance Chronicles from Athens
: Artistic Practices, Structures & Discourses in a Period of Crisis

  • Panagiota Panagiotara

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


    What does it mean to be an artist in a period of crisis? This thesis examines how an artistic scene operates during times of crisis through specific case studies. In
    particular, it explores contemporary dance in Athens from 2008 - when an extended period of financial and sociopolitical turbulence erupted - until 2016, focusing on the history and transformation of existing infrastructures and government policies during this period and new practices, structures and discourses that have emerged in response to this changing context. The methodological approach combines bibliographic, ethnographic and auto-ethnographic approaches that allow for participant-observation and analysis of particular case studies. Through the deployment of anecdote as an explicit methodology, the thesis discusses:
    • key terms shaping recent understandings in the art and humanities of contemporary culture and their manifestation in Greece, including: crisis, neoliberalism, debt and precarity.
    • established institutions, policies and discourses that have shaped the local
    dance culture prior to and during the period of crisis under investigation.
    • emerging artistic initiatives and production modes that support a culture of
    dialogue and collaborative practices.
    • forms of infrastructure that arise in between official institutions and
    grassroots’ initiatives.
    These themes are explored as part of the rapidly shifting socio-political and cultural landscape of Greece, which has come to symbolize a broader crisis facing the reshaped European political project. Whilst exploring the specifics of the Greek context during this period, this thesis is part of and contributes to the wider debate occurring in the performing arts about the role of the artist in neoliberalism.
    Providing a detailed case study that explores such issues in real time, it argues for the significance of specificity when dealing with generic terms such as crisis,
    neoliberalism and the arts.
    Date of Award8 Jan 2018
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • University of Roehampton
    SponsorsAlexander S. Onassis Public Benefit Foundation
    SupervisorSimon Bayly (Supervisor) & Efrosini Protopapa (Supervisor)

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