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Accepted Paper:

"Zorba's dance, Life's dance": Politics of veiled empowerment, political commentaries and resistance in critical moments.  

Author:

Mimina Pateraki (Hellenic Open University)

Paper short abstract:

This paper explores cinematic Zorba's dance by examining the ways in which people engage with dance in their lives in Greece. Τhis dance can act as an embodied index of historicity that challenges recognitions of past at present day, bringing close different historical contexts.

Paper long abstract:

Certain films are deeply woven into our lives and become part of who we are. This paper explores cinematic dance scenes that have fed both public and domestic discourses in Greece by examining the ways in which people engage with dance in their lives. My ethnographic focus is on the significance of cinematic dance as a cultural resource during the critical historical period of the economic austerity in Greece since 2008. I argue that cinematic dance may serve as an analytical tool for informal political commentaries at the local level. People who live, study and work in a suburb of Athens, reflecting and commenting on the financial crisis through their discussions about dance, cinema and social life. Moreover, through their performances, they introduced me to a veiled practice of resistance to and negotiation of the 'crisis'.

The ethnography focuses on cinematic Zorba's dance (1964) which became a symbol of Greekness winning global fame. I argue that this dance can act as an embodied index of historicity that challenges recognitions of past at present day, bringing close different historical contexts through the reworking embodied memory. Culturally significant cinematic dance orchestrates senses, feelings and the rhetoric of people towards the historicity of public culture in Greece. Through their interpretations, therefore, mediated by cinematic dance performances, people managed to voice collective as well as individual concerns, while simultaneously revealing how dance can be complex, fluid and political.

Panel P169
Affection of Sounds and Politics in South-Eastern Europe: Challenges and Perspectives