Tidsskriftet Kulturstudier
Tidsskriftet Kulturstudier

Tidsskriftet

’It takes two to tango’ – siger man ofte, når man vil understrege, at hele ansvaret for en konflikt sjældent hviler på en enkelt person, men oftest er fordelt på flere. Og samtidig understreger man, at tango (eller konflikt) ikke bare er en ’ting’ eller et stabiliseret faktum, men et mønster der må praktiseres. Spørgsmålet er, om det er en ren tilfældighed, at det netop er fra dansen, man henter en figur for distribueret og kollektivt ansvar og for praktisering af mønstre? Det kunne også være, at der i brugen af dans som metafor ligger et potentiale for at understrege særlige dimensioner, der oven i købet matcher nye udviklinger indenfor kulturteorien. I dette bidrag skal vi se nærmere på, hvilke dimensioner og betydninger det i så fald kunne være, at danse figuren tilbyder kulturteorier og kulturanalyser.

English summary

'It takes two to Tango' – Dance as Figuration for Cultural Theory

When we want to think and talk of culture in terms of co- – in terms of relations, as processes, distributed agency, material-discursive, embodied, practiced etc. – one concept currently seems to be re-activated; the concept of dance. Taking its point of departure with Donna Haraway’s understanding of figures/figurations not as mere metaphors, but rather as material-semiotic nodes in which diverse bodies and meanings coshape on another, the paper investigates how the figure of dance is employed in cultural theory and analysis.
N. Elias was on of the first to use the concept of dance in cultural theory. In more recent use of the dance figure (i.e. by C. Cussins, A. Tsing, and D. Haraway) a performative understanding is proposed, in which all the actors become who they are in the ongoing ’dance of relating’, and where all dancers are redone through the pattern they enact. Dance is done, is a matter of material-discursive practicing rather than a thing, is reiterative and transformative, temporal and spa- tial specific, and last but not least agency is distributed into a collective. It takes (at least) two to tango!