Organized Panel Session
What particular aesthetics and politics emerge when we place dance and music as central to critiquing issues of social injustice and connectivity? This interdisciplinary panel engages with performance studies, dance studies, critical race studies, and queer studies to examine performance across China, India, the Philippines, and the U.S. in the contemporary period. Fangfei Miao explores a Chinese concert street dance The Yellow River (2018) and how the performance combines movement vocabulary of Hip-hop, once rejected by institutions, with the music Yellow River Piano Concerto, and thus gains resonance with the local audiences. J. Lorenzo Perillo employs Black performance theory to demonstrate how Manila-based queer Filipinxs use racialized movement to express alternatives to the colonial ties between racialized movement, aggressiveness, and masculinity. Pallavi Sriram chronicles Afro-Arab dance bands known as marfa in Hyderabad which bring together Yemeni male drumming, Bantu moves, and South Indian music and highlights how they translate multiple historical circulations between East Africa, the Hadramawt, and eastern Deccan. Alessandra Williams shows how intersecting Indian dance and black feminist theory generates alternative understandings of spirituality as an embodied critique of social injustices by analyzing Ananya Dance Theatre’s training in Indian dance and its dance productions. The four scholars, situated in the U.S. East Coast, Midwest, and the West, reflect private liberal arts colleges and public research universities, and locate their work across different modes of performance—concert dance, social dance, pedagogical, community-based dance, and geo-tagging band leaders—to foreground artistic practice as a critical locus for studies of power and transformation.