Stanley-Niaah, Sonjah N.
Author Affiliation, Ana.
Institute of Caribbean Studies
Making space: Kingston's Dancehall culture and its philosophy of ‘boundarylessness’
Date of Publication
Like many cultural studies of dance, the media and performance generally, this paper seeks to highlight what is left out of or behind by traditional scholarship and Dancehall culture in Jamaica. The author looks at Dancehall empirically through everyday street events explores the multiple spatialities negotiated, enacted and instantiated within the context of an age-old ritual but that which has transformed over time. Even as it is transformed it transforms personal and communal spaces. Most importantly the limits and potential of such performance spaces as Dancehall are revealed in the way they are negotiated within the urban, temporary, nomadic, and policed spaces to create transformatory and transcendental ones. By entering Dancehall culture through the arena of ‘the dance’, specifically such celebrations of community as the recently initiated ‘Passa Passa’ event, she examines how the performing body traverses micro and macro geographical scapes in which spaces and selves are continuously made and performed, in spite of the odds, with a philosophy of ‘boundarylessness’.....