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Readings of identities and physicality in the work of Jonzi D

Adair, Christy (2005) Readings of identities and physicality in the work of Jonzi D. Kretanja, 3 (4). pp. 37-41.

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Abstract

Dance theatre offers potential for radical agendas, shifting perspectives on gender and cultural difference. Jonzi D’s solo and collaborative work realise this potential by drawing on his insights into lived experience of contemporary British culture., In ‘Aeroplane Man’ (1997) Jonzi D interrogates notions of displacement through performance and confronts racism and stereotypes with a range of choreographic strategies. This work can be read in relation to the representational trope in which as Manning states, 'the white body represents a universal body but a black body only represents a black body' (1997: 193). Jonzi challenges the imbalance in power evident in this statement both in his performance work and the workshops which he leads. He organises his work both in traditional performance settings and more informal settings offering structures which are more inclusive and minimise the masculinist culture which surrounds hip-hop which is a key element of his work., Jonzi D’s solo work concerns itself with issues of identity, forging new identities and connections with audiences through performance. He draws on the radical aspects of hip hop culture and through the subject matter, movement, vocabulary and lyrics of his work he attempts to resist dominant structures within contemporary dance practices. His ability to communicate issues of identity through physicality and rhyme, together with his unwillingness to accept the masculinist culture which surrounds hip-hop, offers potential for the future. His work extends the boundaries of Dance Theatre and challenges audiences to reconsider their place in British society whatever their cultural heritage.

Item Type: Article
Status: Published
Subjects: N Fine Arts > NX Arts in general
School/Department: School of Performance & Media Production
URI: http://ray.yorksj.ac.uk/id/eprint/167

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