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Why Dance?

"Dance is used in protest in many parts of the world. In South Africa for example, dance and song has always been intrinsic to protesting for human rights and is often led by women.

Dance denotes a freedom of body, mind and soul. It is both a celebratory and rebellious act in that it speaks of a freedom of movement, a non-restricted relationship to body and is the antithesis of an oppressed, restrained and violated body. It is essentially non-patriarchal and it rebels against patriarchal control over the female body.

It is erroneous to think of celebration as non-revolutionary. Celebration is the ultimate rebellious act in a world that is dictated to us by non-celebratory forces.

In South Africa, again, dance was often used as a performative, rebellious and revolutionary act when demonstrating in front of the apartheid regime - precisely because it said to the draconian authorities that no matter what they did they would never restrain the human spirit, the ability to dance, express and exist.

It is every woman's right to live in a celebratory world - one that celebrates her sexuality, her beauty, her wisdom, her body, her right to be orgasmic and free. To not recognize that is to remain in the clutches of the austere and patriarchal ethos. Furthermore,  to dismiss dance in protest also speaks of a western arrogance as dance is often used in protest in non-western culture  - why then should this culture not lead a global movement?

Perhaps it is time for dissenters to consider what celebration and contemporary protest have in common – to wonder what such ritualized display of dissent may be able to do in a dynamic process of social change.

Dance, carnival and celebration has been used throughout history, in many different world cultures, to destabilize restrictive or draconian leadership – and it is destabilizing in that while it is a display of civil disobedience it cannot be contained or categorized as aggressive.

This is not about women playing dance. It's about revolution.

You have the choice to rise, strike or dance. Those who would like to dance should be free to do so!"

- Gillian Schutte

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