Ostracism as a #dance #image on #wordymonday (or whatever happened to Swedish Democracy)

Akram Khan  in Torobaka at Sadler's Wells, (c) Carole Edrich 2014

Akram Khan in Torobaka at Sadler’s Wells, (c) Carole Edrich 2014

I chose ‘ostracism’ to represent through dance photographs today because of its close relationship to the word ‘segregation’. Segregation seems to me to be an appropriate starting point as today is Martin Luther King Day in the US as well as his official birthday.

An ugly word for an ugly concept, in ancient Greece it meant temporary banishment of a citizen, something that was arrived at only after a vote. Nowadays it means exclusion by general consent although the exact interpretation of what general consent is, and who might be involved in it can be quite hazy, imprecise or varied.

Israel Galvan and Akram Khan (L-R) at Sadler's Wells in Torobaka, (c) Carole Edrich 2014

Israel Galvan and Akram Khan (R-L) at Sadler’s Wells in Torobaka, (c) Carole Edrich 2014

I suspect some ancient Greeks would be spinning in their graves this week, had they read the same news Item I did from Sweden. The article describes how Sweden’s lawmakers have frozen the Sweden Democrats out of political life. They’re a party that wants to cut asylum immigration by 90%. The Swedish Prime Minister has described them as ‘neo-fascist’ and apparently the other parliamentary groups refuse to deal with it. This isn’t something informal, apparently the ruling Social Democrats and their opposition struck an accord last month. This action was apparently precipitated in reaction to a significant surge in voter support for the anti-immigration party. I’ve read only one article but irrespective of the rights and wrongs of this action I can’t help but wonder what happened to Swedish democracy.

Israel Galvan and Akram Khan (L-R) at Sadler's Wells in Torobaka, (c) Carole Edrich 2014

Israel Galvan and Akram Khan (R-L) at Sadler’s Wells in Torobaka, (c) Carole Edrich 2014

I chose these images of Akrham Khan and Israel Galvan in Torobaka because of the body language of the specific moves I’ve shared. However, far from being about ostracism or segregation, Torobaka was an exciting dialogue between two different dance forms. In it the two dancers, both innovators of their own arts (kathak and flamenco), expressed similar movements and concepts in a way that was complimentary. This performance resonates with current events with me because in the past, purists of both dance forms refused to accept that they could converge. In an interview I read at the time I remember Akram Khan explain that, after working hard to make a new language, they realised that it was entirely sufficient (and innovative) just to create something that worked.

 

The article

Martin Luther King Day