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French MovesThe Cultural Politics of le hip hop$
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Felicia McCarren

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199939954

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199939954.001.0001

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Hip Hop “Speaks” French

Hip Hop “Speaks” French

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(p.41) Chapter 2Hip Hop “Speaks” French
French Moves

Felicia McCarren

Oxford University Press

Hip hop is a “Francophone” dance performed by minority dancers linked to an international post-colonial francophonie. In its French version, le hip hop has used the African-American experience at the roots of the form to “speak” of the cultural difference and political situation of its dancers, finding themselves in the 1980s without a “voice” and in the 1990s, seeking a vocabulary to express the differences that led to unequal opportunity. Yet as a dance form in France, it has shifted away from US rap music, from US-focused or English-speaking dance contexts, and instead, it builds on the historic civic role of dance in French public culture and on a wealth of poetic and sociological dance texts appreciating and theorizing bodies in movement. As a movement poetics, it signifies through reference to something else, shifting the terms of the debates about the role of bodies in cultural production and cultural identity.

Keywords:   Dance, sociological aspects, France, DANCING—Breakdancing, FRANCOPHONE STUDIES—FRENCH CHANSON—FRENCH POETICS, COMPAGNIE CHOREAM PANAME (2004)—DANCING—Federal Aid—France, DANCERS—Socioeconomic conditions, France

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