Past events

RAI Blacking Lecture: Georgiana Gore
Thursday 24 November 2016, 06:30pm
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RAI Ethnomusicology

Third Annual RAI Blacking Lecture

The 2016 annual Royal Anthropological Institute Blacking Lecture, named in honour of esteemed ethnomusicologist and anthropologist John Blacking (1928-1990), will be hosted by the University of Roehampton Dance and Anthropology departments.

24 November 2016 at 6.30pm

at the University of Roehampton’s Froebel College in the Portrait Room, London SW15 5PJ

An anthropological passage from the body to dance

Professor Georgiana Gore, Professor of Anthropology at Blaise Pascal University, Clermont-Ferrand, France

Following Rudolf von Laban's and Marcel Mauss' seminal work in the 1920s and 1930s, it is commonplace in anthropological analyses of dance to think of dance as the art of movement in time and place and the body as its instrument. But what if dancing is considered to be the art of relations, a social space for the enactment of worlds past and for the invention of worlds to come? This semi-autobiographical lecture considers the ways in which the presenter's early engagement with an anthropology of the body, inspired by French post-structuralist authors, continues to inform her current research on the dynamics of interaction in dancing. This research oscillates between an inquiry into the individual dispositions and skills constitutive of dancing in general and the analysis of concerted collective performances. Examples are drawn from diverse sources including research in the 1980s amongst the Edo of Nigeria, and more recent work on international flashmobs and modes of transmission in French contemporary dance.

Georgiana Gore is Professor of Anthropology of Dance and Bodily Practices at Blaise Pascal University (Clermont-Ferrand, France) and a member of the research centre ACTé. She directs a Masters programme in Ethnomusicology and Anthropology of Dance (EMAD) and is local convenor for the Erasmus Mundus International Masters in Dance Knowledge, Practice and Heritage - Choreomundus. She has undertaken fieldwork in Southern Nigeria and in Europe, her research focusing mainly on dance transmission and the politics of embodiment as well as on various epistemological issues. Her publications include Anthropologie de la danse: Genèse et construction d'une discipline (with Andrée Grau 2006) as well as a forthcoming encyclopaedia contribution on the anthropology of dance also with Andrée Grau, a recent essay in the Journal for the Anthropological Study of Human Movement - JASHM (2013), and collaborative contributions to the edited collections Fields in Motion: Ethnography in the Worlds of Dance (Davida 2011) and The Interview: An Ethnographic Approach (Skinner 2012).

The event is free, but tickets must be booked. To book tickets please go to