The Dance Coming from the Streets: Understanding Recognition and Consecration in Independent Artistic Contexts

Wednesday, 13 July 2016: 09:45
Location: Hörsaal 14 (Juridicum)
Oral Presentation
Maria Carolina VASCONCELOS-OLIVEIRA, Centro Brasileiro de Análise e Planejamento, Brazil, Cebrap, Brazil
In this paper, we intend to exercise the approach and analytical framework developed in a PhD research about independence in artistic fields with a new object. After analyzing independent filmmakers and their positioning strategies in Brazilian cinema field, we aim at another kind of independent group: the dancers of the so-called street dance circuit in São Paulo city. One of our main research interests is to comprehend the construction of consecration in such contexts, where recognition itself is usually seen as a form of institutionalization that threatens the condition of independent.

Relying mainly on Bourdieusian theory, but also bringing contributions of Raymond Williams (in his observation of dissident formations) and Howard Becker (in his considerations about mavericks and outsiders in art worlds), we bring empirical data to analyze the logic of creation of artistic value in street dance context, the borders that differentiate good and bad work, as well as the main ways of legitimation of dancers.

São Paulo represents a considerably established context for contemporary dance in its "erudite" form, mainly made by dancers with university degrees. Since at least 20 years, the context of street dance has been flourishing through independent ways, mainly from the outskirts of the city, and mainly under a political orientation towards the appropriation of public space. This process, even being apart from the whole universe of the "official" contemporary dance and the "official" forms of public support to dance, resulted in a myriad of styles, festivals and awards, that made this production visible to the larger dance field – in a way that policymakers themselves begin to question if cultural policies really takes into account the diversity of contemporary dance forms of the city. We focus on understanding the parameters of valuation and ways of recognition around which this context has developed.