Codifier la danse africaine: la technique de Germaine Acogny et les antinomies de la production culturelle postcoloniale

Translated title of the contribution: Codifying African dance: the Germaine Acogny technique and antinomies of postcolonial cultural production

Amy Leigh Swanson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The French-Senegalese choreographer Germaine Acogny is deemed to be the first to develop a dance technique that is both ‘African’ and ‘universal.’ Following her teaching certification training from 2010 to 2013, a growing body of dancers around the world practice the Germaine Acogny Technique as it is no longer only foundational at her École des Sables in Senegal but also taught overseas by certified instructors. Initiated by a confrontation with the restrictions of classical ballet and as a way to valorize and professionalize African dances, the technique may be considered a site of decolonial cultural production. Yet, it must contend with continued Euro-American economic and immaterial dominance. Based on ethnographic research at École des Sables, this paper examines antinomies inherent to the Acogny Technique. Using theories of postcolonial cultural production and consumption, I demonstrate that the technique sustains a critique of power structures embedded within Western-derived dance techniques while constituting a shared, meaningful movement vocabulary for Pan-African dancers. At the same time, it capitalizes on certain colonialist signifiers of a differentiated Africa, a tendency all but required for survival in the late capitalist global economy.

Translated title of the contributionCodifying African dance: the Germaine Acogny technique and antinomies of postcolonial cultural production
Original languageItalian
JournalCritical African Studies
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2019

Keywords

  • African contemporary dance
  • dance technique
  • Germaine Acogny
  • postcolonial cultural production
  • Senegal
  • École des Sables

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)
  • Social Sciences(all)

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