Shifting perspectives through Choreography : a study on bodily rights from an Indigenous perspective

University essay from Stockholms konstnärliga högskola/Institutionen för scenkonst

Abstract: In the current globalisation of the planet, Indigenous peoples are attempting to reclaim their lands from extraction and natural disruptions due to new sustainable energy projects and dam constructions. This study is exploring how choreography and dance are addressing the issue of exploitation of land and bodies, directly weaving together ideas of ancestry and indigeneity through gathered testimonies from three Indigenous choreographers. The work allows for activist ideas to shift the perspective on humans’ relationship to soil and its emancipation from coloniality by acknowledging the ancestral body as an intrinsic, lived experience within the Indigenous choreographer. Positioning the study in relation to critical artistic practice, the text is proposing an opportunity for the reader to explore the link between bodily rights, minority politics and soil, thus revealing how the reconstruction of ancestral memories and movement can remind us how to repatriate our dismantled and dislocated history. By finding ways of connecting choreography to agency over body and indigeneity, this work is exploring how dance can constitute Indigenous connectedness and how testimonies by these choreographers are passed on through their embodied experiences of indigeneity, ritual, repatriation and recognition of the Indigenous body. 

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