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Post-Migratory Cultures in Postcolonial France$
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Kathryn Kleppinger and Laura Reeck

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781786941138

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781786941138.001.0001

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Somebody or Anybody? Hip-Hop Choreography and the Cultural Economy

Somebody or Anybody? Hip-Hop Choreography and the Cultural Economy

(p.185) Somebody or Anybody? Hip-Hop Choreography and the Cultural Economy1
Post-Migratory Cultures in Postcolonial France

Felicia McCarren

Liverpool University Press

Kader Attou’s 2013 hip hop choreography The Roots provides a working context and playing field for a new generation. While hip hop continues to evoke racial, ethnic, or cultural difference in France, as urban concert dance it has allowed dancers of diversity to become ‘somebody’: as professionals working at a National Choreographic Center, their performances enact their integration via dance. But if the dancers are ‘somebody,’ it is because choreography’s figural language allows them to be anybody—to become artists unmarked by their origin, moving through their bodies beyond the ethnic or class labels to a space of self-expression and self-creation. The recognizable hip hop moves anchor the choreography in the language of the banlieues, but the gestures and emotions and abstract narrative stage difference on a stage that is graced with talent, an audience, and institutional support.

Keywords:   French hip hop dance, choreography, minority identity, cultural capital, Kader Attou, The Roots

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