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Bad Girls, dancing like a blaze of consciousness

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The call to arms that was Punk privileged a sense of friction, across cultural and economic activities including publishing, fashion, art, music, theatre, performance and dance. Together a range of artists and activists shared an audacity to search for different ways to explore social and cultural experience, standing against a tide of compliance. In the subsequent creation of the histories of this state of mind, contributions from the realm of dance remain largely under represented. This article contributes a dance-oriented perspective to the discourse, evaluating the early artistic practice of two female dancer choreographers; New York-based Karole Armitage, and Louise Lacavalier of Montreal-based La La La Human Steps. The collective achievement of their early and ongoing work was the impact of their physical athleticism as an integral part of their idiosyncratic practice. For them dancing was about honing the visceral power and skills of communication, jolting free of the constraints of tradition in their own blaze of consciousness. It was about creating dance ready to speak of the world and times in which they lived.
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Keywords: DIY; blaze of consciousness; challenge; choreography; idiosyncratic practice; transgress; visceral power

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Leeds

Publication date: 2012-08-24

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  • Punk & Post-Punk is a journal for academics, artists, journalists and the wider cultural industries. Placing punk and its progeny at the heart of inter-disciplinary investigation, it is the first forum of its kind to explore this rich and influential topic in both historical and critical theoretical terms.
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