Africanist choreography as cultural citizenship: Thomas ‘Talawa’ Prestø’s philosophy of Africana dance.
This essay addresses how Africanist choreography operates as a practice of cultural citizenship, focussing on the work of Thomas ‘Talawa’ Prestø as a leading figure in shaping the cultural sphere for choreography based on African and diaspora forms in Norway and internationally. Whereas cultural policy discourse tends to value Africanist choreography as a tool for social inclusion, this essay seeks to foreground the philosophical basis of Prestø’s work – with a focus on his piece I:Object (2018) and its enactment of ideas of Africana philosophy, heritage and polycentrism. However, rather than focussing exclusively on performance analysis, the essay also emphasises the political importance of the professional work that choreographers like Prestø undertake aside from choreographing – analysing the ways in which he has created a new discursive context for his own practice and the challenge to Eurocentric norms of reception this work enacts.
Citation : Adewole, F. (2020) Africanist choreography as cultural citizenship: Thomas ‘Talawa’ Prestø’s philosophy of Africana dance. In: Laura Cull and Alice Lagaay (eds) Routledge Companion to Performance Philosophy. London: Routledge
Research Institute : Institute of Drama, Dance and Performance Studies
Peer Reviewed : Yes
- School of Arts