Sunday, June 5, 2011

The body is always political

I am listening to the CBC and Michael Enwright is interviewing a poet. The poet has just said that societies that are in turmoil tend to look back to their poets to help them through difficult times. And when things are going well, they abandon them for "easier" forms of literature.

Some months ago, over dinner with Karen Jamieson, she said that dance on the whole is a benign form. It does no harm, she said. I am not so sure. If dance is so benign, why then, when governments and ruling powers want to control a people, is dance the first thing they ban or surpress?  I think of the persecution of Sundance practitioners by the Government of Canada in the late 1800s and early 1900s. And more recently, the incidents at the Thomas Jefferson Memorial in the U.S.

Perhaps when times are good, the people abandon powerful dancing for benign dance.

But it is time to bring back the real dance.