Body and Society 11 (4):141-163 (2005)

Dance anthropologists and ethnomusicologists are trained to treat the labels ‘dance’ and ‘music’ with caution, because the terms carry preconceptions that may mask significant aspects of the structured movement/sound systems they study. Yet many talk about ‘the body’ – the medium through which these systems come into being – as something given and ‘true’, without investigating its emic conceptualizations or looking into the implications these may have in terms of how music and dance are experienced. The article investigates the dancing bodies of western ballet dancers and of Tiwi dancers of northern Australia. The latter have an extensive vocabulary for body parts, but no word for ‘body’ as a bounded entity, comparable to the ‘body’ conceptualized by ballet dancers. The article argues that for the Tiwi landscape and human bodies are unavoidably tied together and that the dancers incarnate both land and cosmology. While specific parts have a concrete practical existence, the whole body expands into the landscape so that the landscape becomes flesh. Through the aesthetic transformation of dancing, dancers and land become one, and life is sustained and the land revitalized.
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DOI 10.1177/1357034x05058024
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Technologies of the Self.Michel Foucault - 2001 - Filosoficky Casopis 49 (2):319-343.
Written in the Flesh.Pasi Falk - 1995 - Body and Society 1 (1):95-105.

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