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Title: Cultural geographies of contemporary dance in Quito, Ecuador
Author: Narbed, Sofie
ISNI:       0000 0004 8499 4910
Awarding Body: Royal Holloway, University of London
Current Institution: Royal Holloway, University of London
Date of Award: 2017
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This thesis explores the cultural geographies of contemporary dance in Quito, the capital of Ecuador. Engaging with practice through concerns of the historical, the institutional, the corporeal, and the politics of diverse and shifting identities, the thesis examines the multiple and intersecting relations of dance's making. This is achieved through an in-depth ethnographic methodology that works across the independent and institutional dance sectors in Quito. This thesis brings together fields of research that have largely remained separate in the study of dance practice; namely, geography, critical dance studies, and (dance) anthropology. In doing so, it adopts an integrated approach that examines both the politics and the poetics of dance practice. It therefore engages with dance as a creative bodily practice, a social form of meaning-making, and a networked professional field of work. Through an empirical focus on Latin America, the thesis also diversifies the histories, geographies, and artistic work through which contemporary dance is understood. In these foci, this thesis develops an 'expanded geography' of contemporary dance. The thesis develops this geography through the exploration of the layered relations that produce and are produced by contemporary dance in Quito. It considers the historical relations between practices, between the institutional and the independent, and of transnational connection, that resonate in dance's creative production (Chapter 4). The thesis also looks to dance's dialogues with its contemporary institutional geographies in the city, focusing in particular on concerns of funding, spaces, and audiences (Chapter 5). It examines the active presence of both international and local dance canons in the making of practice (Chapter 6), before considering how dance negotiates wider politics of 'difference', identity and 'belonging' in the city, shaped by a particular politics of decolonisation (Chapter 7). The thesis then looks to complexify these dance(d) identities by turning to the multiple and diverse ways artists make and understand their practice in Quito (Chapter 8). It moves on to explore these concerns as part of a negotiated intercultural dialogue through practice (Chapter 9). By engaging with dance through these intersecting geographical spaces, this thesis contributes to the conceptualisation of contemporary dance from a postcolonial perspective. It lays out the particular implications of this and the arguments threaded through the text for conceptions of contemporaneity, and the particular ways this might be understood when working in and through dancing bodies (Chapter 10).
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available