Research Catalog

Hands, eyes, butts and thighs : women's labor, sexuality, and movement technique from Senegal through the diaspora

Title
Hands, eyes, butts and thighs : women's labor, sexuality, and movement technique from Senegal through the diaspora / by Angela D. Gittens.
Author
Gittens, Angela D.
Publication
2008.

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Details

Description
xvi, 241 p. : col. ill., maps; 22 cm.
Summary
  • This dissertation asserts that the movements of Wolof-speaking women in Senegal, also recognized as techniques of the body, serve very culturally specific purposes that are taught from generation to generation. These techniques sustain the woman's distinctive expressivity and agency to comment publicly on her relationships and her social surroundings. An important aspect of this dissertation focuses on hearing the voice of the common African woman whose contributions to traditional oral literature have been minimally recognized. Similarly, the African diasporic woman's voice has been considered insignificant in comparison to what she is able to produce physically. Thus, part of this dissertation amplifies the traditional Wolof-speaking woman's voice in response to her immediate environment, while another part of the document places the Black female dancing body in diaspora in the spotlight to observe how she speaks back at various situations by using her body's movements as a coded language.
  • Little has been written about the clever ways in which these multi-layered, culturally-specific messages are constructed. How do contemporary African American choreographers not only teach and modify the movement vocabulary but also address the complex context of Senegalese dance and labor/sexuality movement relations as elaborated in both African and diasporic contexts? This project entails performance analyses of the work of three African American contemporary choreographers who aim to develop site-specific traditional African dance techniques within new contexts of possibility. In their common project of the research and development of contemporary modern technique and vocabulary, choreographers Ron K. Brown (Evidence), Abdel Salaam (Forces of Nature), and Jawole Willa Jo Zollar (Urban Bush Women) each have choreographed works that show Wolof-based Senegalese movement and dance for its characteristics as a formalized technique.
  • When applied to new contexts within the modern and contemporary dance arenas of the African diaspora, Senegalese dance technique reads as a force of empowerment in the reconnection of the Black female body to mind and mouth, and a force of liberation from the historical baggage of dancing within an oppressed body.
Subjects
Note
  • Adviser: Barbara Browning.
  • "May 2008."
Thesis (note)
  • Thesis (Ph.D.)--New York University, 2008.
  • Thesis (Ph. D.)---Univ. of Michigan, 2008.
Bibliography (note)
  • Includes bibliographical references (p. 232-241)
Reproduction (note)
  • Photocopy.
Call Number
Sc D 11-1148
OCLC
756212588
Author
Gittens, Angela D.
Title
Hands, eyes, butts and thighs : women's labor, sexuality, and movement technique from Senegal through the diaspora / by Angela D. Gittens.
Imprint
2008.
Thesis
Thesis (Ph.D.)--New York University, 2008.
Thesis
Thesis (Ph. D.)---Univ. of Michigan, 2008.
Bibliography
Includes bibliographical references (p. 232-241)
Reproduction
Photocopy. Ann Arbor, Mich. : UMI Dissertation Services, 2008.
Research Call Number
Sc D 11-1148
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