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Emerging Frameworks for Engaging Precarity and “Otherness” in Greek Contemporary Dance Performances
Dance Research Journal  (IF),  Pub Date : 2019-04-23, DOI: 10.1017/s0149767719000020
Natalie Zervou

At the dawn of the European refugee crisis, and in the middle of the ongoing sociopolitical and financial crisis in Greece, Greek choreographers started creating dance works that engaged immigrants and refugees. In most such initiatives, improvisation became the tool for bridging the disparity between the professional dancers and the “untrained” participants, who were often the vulnerable populations of refugees and asylum seekers. In this essay, I question the ethics and aesthetics of these methodological approaches utilized for staging encounters between natives and migrants through dance. In particular, I consider the significance of improvisation as potentially perpetuating hierarchical inequalities in the framework of Western concert dance, while I also highlight the ways that such artistic endeavors end up presenting immigrants and refugees as “Others.”