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Movement in the Men’s Movement: Contact improvisation and social change

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During the 1970s and continuing through to the 1990s, a significant number of American men participated in activities that became collectively recognized as a ‘Men’s Movement’. Nearly simultaneously the development of Contact Improvisation (CI), questioned many of the gender roles in traditional dance, allowing for a much broader range of physical interaction for both men and women. This article looks at intersections between these two ‘movements’ and argues that CI and related body-based performance practices were, and can continue to be, significant tools for social change.
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Keywords: Men’s Movement; contact improvisation; dance; gender; performance; social change

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of California at Davis

Publication date: June 1, 2015

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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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