PoP Moves Turns 10: Celebrating the Popular, Practicing the Urban Conference

PoP Moves Turns 10: Celebrating the Popular, Practicing the Urban

A conference to be held on Saturday 18th November 2017 at the University of East London.

I will be presenting a paper entitled: 

Moving Politically: Urban gentrification and Hip Hop Dance Theatre

The paper examines the state-led commodification of arts and culture, and the interconnected elements such as mentorships and funding strategies that impact on hip hop dance/theatre artists’ freedom of movement in the UK. It illustrates the nexus between arts initiatives such as Sadler’s Wells Breakin’ Convention project and Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisations and political power. Furthermore, it links these supervisory structures to wider notions of urban gentrification, cultural gatekeeping in UK arts and a globalised corporate initiative: as demonstrated by ‘Olympicopolis’ in South East London. In doing so it proposes a clear link to popular performance practices and the legitimization of gentrification.
Drawing on artist interviews alongside the work of cultural and performance theorists Lorey (2015), Gotman (2015) and Lepecki (2013), ideas of choreopolicing, precarity and dialectics are used to define a spatial narrative through which the HHDT model can be articulated and analysed. The paper proposes a space for the exploration of future counter-narratives that might consider another way of doing and thinking divergent from conventional HHDT choreographic practices.