Letter from the Editor

Julie B. Johnson

Over the course of 7 issues, The Dancer-Citizen contributors have shared works that speak to issues of belonging, sustainability, difference, and dissent, identity, embodied activism, interdisciplinary collaboration, empathic practices, sacred and secular connections, cultural and historical preservation, and contemporary explorations building on age-old traditions. As a collective, these works begin to map the field of dancer-citizenship, palpating and pushing its ever-shifting borders, mining its cavernous quandaries, and celebrating its system of intersecting and divergent pathways with optimism that they will lead to a better world. 

What has been revealed in their works are the infinite possibilities of the “in-between”… the vast expanse of the intermediary, the intersectional and the borderless, the “both/and”, and the hybrid. For Issue 8, we sought contributions that speak to these intermediary spaces, that which defies binaries and categories, or that which serves to negotiate terms between more defined or codified entities. 

What we received brings to light what this “in-between” space can hold… resistance, intersubjectivity, interdisciplinarity, and agency. 

For Margaret Jean Westby, “in-between” means the intersections between arts and science, collaborations between engineers and artists, and role of technology in bridging these realms within the era of postmodern dance. It also means highlighting the ways in which gendered bodies are historically and historically left out of the discourse.

Eboné Camille Amos’ choreographic work explores misrepresentations of black women in media and popular culture, and amplifies black women as a site of complexity, contradiction, and empowerment, holding “joys, aches, and triumphs of the black female in America.”

Anabella Lenzu positions dance as a “both/and” of discipline and revolt. Her solo work questions identity and agency as she interrogates her own subjectivity in front of an audience. She looks “for a way to use a performative language to engage with others in this dialogue” about identity construction and political and personal agency. 

Leslie Bush and Amy Cartwright’s work both activate the space between human and non-human, movement and technology. Bush’s sculptural work uses 3D scanning and printing technology with dance to generate uniquely designed creations. Cartwright researches the fluidity of performing human bodies through the intersections of computer code and choreographic process, algorithms and sense perception.

Lucy Nicholson reconstitutes Laban Bartenieff Movement Systems as language to frame the embodiments and experiences of marginalization and social exclusion, and to give language to participant’s disconnection from self, other, and environment.

In seeking answers to what lie in between the perceived boundaries of dancer-citizenship, these works offer glimpses into exciting possibilities while posing even more urgent questions… how do we get there? Who is situated within these spaces and who is left out? How can these spaces empower, motivate, propel, liberate?