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The Aesthetics of Dance - Essay Example

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This essay "The Aesthetics of Dance" examines the multitude of ways that race and social class had a tangible impact on the aesthetics of South Bronx dance in the late 1970s and Turf dancing in Oakland, California in the late 1990s. These dance forms then come to operate as a form of cultural resistance. …
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The Aesthetics of Dance
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Download file to see previous pages In the late 1970s, the South Bronx underwent a significant period of economic decline that impacted the borough’s socio-cultural dynamics. In this geographic environment, wealthy individuals began to exploit the urban poor, contributing to the emergence of a culture of “inclusion-exclusion.” Such a term refers to the South Bronx emerging as a situation where engaging in the culture occurred only through forms of exploitation. Within this oppressive social environment, hip-hop inspired dancing emerged.
A number of decades later in Oakland similar forms of dancing emerged in response to an equally oppressive socio-cultural climate. At least from the perspective of theorist Naomi Bragin, this dance form – referred to as turfing – occurred in the 1990s as an aesthetic response to the significant amounts of deaths of black individuals at the hands of police and gang violence in the city. Even though these types of dance emerged nearly two decades apart, the fact that they both happened within the African American and Latino ethnic groups in oppressed communities reveals a number of important features about the nature of politically inspired dance in the late 20th century. The present research examines the ways that race and social class had a tangible impact on aesthetic elements embodied in this South Bronx hip-hop-inspired dance, and turf dancing from Oakland, California.
Race and social class had an impact on the aesthetics of the Oakland street-style dance referred to as turf dance in a multitude of ways. In “Shot and Captured: Turf Dance, YAK Films, and the Oakland, California, RIP Project,” Naomi Bragin indicates that while the aesthetics of hip-hop-inspired dance in the South Bronx is indirectly impacted by race and social class, turf dance directly embodies elements of cultural resistance that have been conditioned through the police force and the sociodynamics of the surrounding city.  ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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