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Free Content ‘I learned to be free’: Empowering the self through dance in 2012 Egypt

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In 2012, amid a critical and transitional socio-political situation in Egypt, Bibliotheca Alexandrina started an initiative aiming at developing contemporary dance. The project included the organization of dance workshops for amateurs in various cities of Egypt. Led by eleven local dancers, these workshops consisted of trainings aimed at forming trainers. The methodologies used appeared to have strengthened the awareness of the close relationship between body and mind, revealing new perceptions of the body’s potential and awakening a strong feeling of empowerment. By bringing these dynamics to light and examining their implications on the individuals involved in the workshops, the following article aims to open further discussion on how transcultural use of somatic practices can actively participate in enhancing the autonomy of the emergent Egyptian contemporary dance field. It revisits the outcomes of this pioneering project of dance transmission and examines its impact on both dancers and participants.

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Keywords: Egypt; autonomy; body mind awareness; dance education; empowerment; transmission

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Université Blaise Pascal-Clermont Ferrand 2

Publication date: 01 June 2014

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  • This journal focuses on the relationship between dance and somatic practices, and the influence of this body of practice on the wider performing arts. The journal will be aimed at scholars and artists, providing a space for practitioners and theorists to debate the work, to consider the impact and influence of the work on performance, the interventions that somatic practices can have on other disciplines and the implications for research and teaching.
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