Unit 7 – Social and Political Resistance
1. Dance can contribute to social and political change in many ways. Dance itself can be seen as a representation of one’s culture and self expression. In the 19th century, as blacks were brought over from Africa through the slave trades, their culture and forms of dances were also brought over. As they assimilated to white culture, their culture and dance mixed in with the white culture. As a result, both black dance and white cultures/dances influenced each other and synchronized. A specific example would be the integration of black dance into main stream American dances. It was said that “in the midst of the national trauma over social integration during the 20th century, a white boy named Elvis, legitimated the pelvic movements learned from his black neighbors.” African dance had the characteristic of bent joints and hip movement. Through his black neighbors’ influence, Elvis led to the popularization of the hip movement in dance for American social culture.
2. Sexual violence and domestic abuse are two very important social issues for me. During the winter break, I attended a nursing program, which centered on domestic abuse and sexual abuse in homes, that took place in Bolivia. The program opened my eyes to how serious the issue is and how prevalent it was, not just in third world countries like Bolivia but all over the world. In fact, statistically speaking, 1 in 3 girls and 1 in 5 boys are victims of sexual abuse in Bolivia. Although the number is lower in the United States, it is still a prevalent. The worst part is that these instances of sexual abuse are more likely to be committed by a person known to the victim rather than a complete stranger.
3. This issue could be brought to the light and be made aware through dance, movement, and/or performance. Particularly, it could be done through public spectacles like the one mentioned in this week’s content. Specifically, it could be brought into public awareness through Samba. Samba is performed by samba schools all throughout Brazil and is one of the largest carnivals that occurs in Rio de Janiero each year. The performance and spectacles are based on a patriotic theme and national pride. Although it is based on patriotic theme and national pride, I believe that it could be altered a little to celebrate a day of “awareness” for victims of sexual abuse.
4. Samba schools could possibly make decorations and design floats that promote unity against domestic abuse and sexual violence.
Referring back to the program that I attended in Bolivia,