By focusing upon music and dance this panel considers the spatial, bodily and ethical practices involved in these forms of cultural production and highlights the ontological and methodological significance of sound and movement in anthropological research.
This panel aims to explore music and dance as social practices and processes. In attending ethnographically to their distinctive importance in everyday life we seek to examine the collaborative intimacies that music and dance enact across spatial, bodily and ethical registers. Moreover, we intend to address methodological questions that stem from fieldwork collaborations between researcher and participants, and to problematise the ontological relation between movement, sound and the fieldworker's body. Rather than perceiving activities under the music/dance rubric as peripheral and haphazard we argue that their collective nature allows us to consider issues of relationality in how individuals produce meaning and participate in mutual self-becoming. The researcher's immersion in dance and music events induces affective responses that render fieldwork an intensely physical experience. By employing their bodies as tools of research, fieldworkers in music and dance find themselves in spaces of sonic and kinetic intimacy and reflexivity that articulate what Jean Rouch called 'shared anthropology'. This plurosensory emplacement reflects the nexus between space, ethics and the body. Essentially an agglomeration of everyday technologies of self-fashioning, music and dance open up pathways and conjure up life trajectories that are neither predetermined nor teleological, but generative. As people adapt such pathways and trajectories, and in turn become attuned to them, anthropology should continually adjust itself to fleeting circumstances and to the imagining of alternative futures. We invite ethnographic accounts of music and dance practices and innovative contributions that challenge normative understandings of ethics, space and the body.