Can club dancing be an artform?

Published in The Independent on Sunday on March 1, 2015

Our understanding of dance is strangely segregated. There’s the dancing we do in clubs: for fun, with friends, after dark, to music that makes us unable to resist moving our bodies. Then there’s the dancing we see in theatres: professional, steeped in tradition, held at a distance. While both social dancing and performative dancing are the same at source – human bodies making meaning by moving to music – they remain walled off in practice.

One dance company is kicking down such distinctions, however. This week, Paris-based duo Cecilia Bengolea and François Chaignaud bring their work altered natives’ Say Yes to Another Excess – TWERK to Sadler’s Wells for its UK premiere. As its capitalised reference to that squatting, thrusting hip-hop dance craze du jour signals, it’s steeped in club culture, but gives its moves the same attention to form and line that you’d expect in a contemporary dance show. Continue reading “Can club dancing be an artform?”