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Before looking at how choreographers interact with politics, let’s clarify what the term "politics" might mean for dance makers. How do prominent choreographers of today portray political issues in their works?
For choreographers and their dances, “politics" can be broken down into three sub-categories based on origin, approach, and content. These categories overlap and interact with each other:
1. GOVERNMENT POLITICS - Topics about political systems, government policies, constitutional frameworks, authoritarian regimes, citizen and human rights – In summary, the enforcement of government politics and its influence in our lives.
SAMPLE: Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui’s Fractus V incorporates Noam Chomsky’s narrative of government manipulation of information:
2. SOCIAL [JUSTICE] POLITICS - Topics about the nature of societal/geopolitical infrastructure and divisions; social justice; prejudice; religion, race, ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation; ethical frameworks, moral standards, social awareness, equality, equity and welfare; and how these factors influence our lives.
SAMPLE: Crystal Pite’s Flight Pattern reveals the struggle of immigrants, as they cross borders and their journey of uncertainties and hope:
SAMPLE: Yuri Possokhov’s Nureyev, a biographical show about the dancer Rudolf Nureyev, choreographed for Moscow’s Bolshoi Theatre, was set to premiere but was canceled at the last minute. No official reason was given for the sudden cancellation, but it’s rumored that the production’s frank portrayal of Nureyev’s homosexuality might have been deemed too daring for the Bolshoi’s main stage:
3. AGENDA POLITICS – Topics about individual advocacy, group activism, institutional dominance, corporate interests, business profits, industrial benefits, money, and power versus the individual and society, environmental issues and concerns in relation to the wellbeing of humanity, and their influence in our lives.
SAMPLE: Crystal Pite’s The Statement: