chapter  13
13 Pages

When place matters

Provincializing the ‘global’
ByEmily E. Wilcox

This chapter considers how the concept of the 'global' has contributed to this kind of placeism in the writing of dance history. For the term 'global' to be used critically in the writing of dance history, it is essential that to move beyond the idea that modern dance and postmodern dance are culturally universal, neutral, or exempt from place-based identities and political histories. When modern dance and postmodern dance become universalized as a tool of expression for dancers around the world, a similar act of mediation takes place, enacting similar forms of power inequality and loss. To provincialize the global in dance history is to see modern and postmodern dance as carrying specific political and cultural values and having global relevance because of place-based histories, not because of their inherent artistic neutrality. Throughout the Cold War, there were many who, for different reasons, expressed critical voices challenging modern and postmodern dance's claims to universalism.