It Takes A “Real” Man To Follow Like A Man: A note on gender roles reversal in Argentinian tango dancing
In line with my general research interests, I am currently conducting an independent research focusing on the possible effects of the bodily knowledge acquired through Argentinian tango dancing on non-Argentinian practitioners’ perception of self, others and the environment. The planned multi-sited fieldwork is still in its early stages and it started in Beirut - Lebanon.
A few days ago, a tango dancer, teacher and community leader in Beirut shared a video on his personal Facebook page featuring a tango performance where the Argentinian dancing couple is reversing roles.
Although the term “Heritage” seem to have gained an international understanding through the UNESCO conventions of World Cultural Heritage (1972) and Intangible Cultural Heritage (2003), the interpretation and implementation of the concept in relation to dance differs greatly among countries. The following notes are drawn upon observations I have made on the topic during a year spent in Clermont-Ferrand, France.
As in many other European countries, the folk dance revival project is found in France as well, especially in Brittany and Provence regions where the dance repertoire is revived and practiced today (Guilcher: 1998). In the dance domain a direct discourse on the notion of “heritage” doesn’t seem to be highly audible. Instead, there are manifestations that can be indirectly linked to the notions of revival and safeguarding of dance that usually accompany the intangible cultural heritage discourse. One of these manifestations could be observed in Frères Champion's work. Frères Champion are two brothers Bourrée (A traditional dance of the Auvergne region) dancers and musicians conducting performances and workshops in the region, which could evoke the idea of dance revival encountered in other European contexts. Nonetheless, the brothers collaborated in 2011 with Sidi Graoui, a contemporary dancer and choreographer, in an exploratory contemporary piece entitled ‘Trois, un, deux, le labyrinthe des origines’. The collaboration revolved around the body capacities, musicality, dialogue and expression.
By Jana Al Obeidyine
On the Way
When we first arrived to Transylvania I had, already, forgotten the hard time I have had at the Romanian consulate in Szeged acquiring the Romanian visa. We have had a stop on the highway for lunch; the first encounter with the Romanian territory was a quite contrast in relation to the Hungarian one. First thing I have noticed was a chain of stores exhibiting all kind of products, towels, decorative statues, house equipment, dolls etc., the scenery was very familiar to me, since in my home city a very similar shops exist in certain areas, precisely on the sea side of city suburb. However, the interesting aspect of the scenery was not this similarity but the change that occurred in a short distance from the Hungarian borders. When we went looking for a restaurant, a flash back has struck me, Beirut end of 1990s, before the neoliberalism incursion. Restaurants were full of smoke, crowded yet quite. The whole set amused me and appealed to my cinematographic taste; I felt that I am entering a new and exciting experience.
After the thrilling opening, I had another wonder on the way to Gherla!
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in all posts are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the association or the MA program.