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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The Cuban dance construct: A mechanism for creative agency and identity formation
by Gahl, Elizabeth, M.A., The American University of Paris (France), 2014, 57; 10305848
Abstract (Summary)

The Cuban state project of arts institutionalization has created a dance construct that is world-renowned. Ranging from classical ballet to Afro-Cuban folk dance to contemporary dance, this tour de force place an important role in Cuban society as an outlet for expression and commentary, a protected space for dialogue, and a conduit to the international artistic arena. During a 30-day period in Havana, Cuba, I explored the anatomy of the life of the Cuban dancer in a variety of dimensions; from interviewing dancers, teachers, choreographers, and directors; attending dance and music performances; observing lectures, classes and rehearsals; and taking classes with the national dance companies. I investigated how the dance construct influences the individual artists and the Cuban society at large and why the dance construct plays such a critical role. Dance as an emotional practice expands the range of creative agency and facilitates the expression of individual and community identity. The dance construct fulfills an artistic social contract between artists and the public to provide a protected space for dialogue and innovation. The vibrant Cuban dance construct demonstrates the potential of this contract when both parties participate in fulfilling their obligations in this agreement. Through deeper understanding of the cultural societal forces at work, the power of dance can be maximized to produce a positive impact on communities around the world.

Key phrases: Dance, creative agency, identity formation, practice, artistic social contract

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Perry, Susan
School: The American University of Paris (France)
School Location: France
Source: MAI 56/02M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Cultural anthropology, Dance, Caribbean Studies, Latin American Studies, International Relations
Keywords: Artistic social contract, Creative agency, Cuba, Dance, Identity formation
Publication Number: 10305848
ISBN: 978-1-369-49412-9
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