Shared space and between space: Considering Jewishness and race through interspecies dancing1 | Intellect Skip to content
1981
Volume 13, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 2040-5669
  • E-ISSN: 2040-5677

Abstract

This autoethnographic text describes a dance and personal historical research process during COVID-19 quarantine and Black Lives Matter protests in 2020. As implications of a changing planet and unequal cross-cultural impacts and responsibilities become ever more clear, this research explores assimilation into Whiteness in Ashkenazi Jewish American lineage and how that relates to interspecies dancing. What is lost in this story of assimilation? What might interspecies collaborations teach us about relating cross-culturally? Whiteness and Jewishness are considered through histories of speaking and losing Yiddish and the role of Jewish dancers in early modern dance in New York. Interviews about Yiddish and assimilation are in dialogue with an improvisational dance practice with a border collie dog (whose ancestors helped colonize the United States). This interspecies movement practice and others (including complex evolutionary histories) connect to biologist Donna Haraway and anthropologist Anna Tsing for insights about collaboration across differences. In thematically bringing Jewishness into performance practice, this research unravels layers of resistance, privilege and present racial inequities. The text looks to Audre Lorde and civil rights activist Eric K. Ward for coalition building practices: finding connection and finding ourselves are to be changed by our encounters without losing ourselves in the process.

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2022-07-01
2024-02-29
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