Dancing in the street as feminist empowerment: the choreographic discourse of the BellyWarda and L’Armée des Roses collectives



The reaffirmation of female bodies in public spaces is a constant in feminist social movements. Indeed, the role of the female body in public spaces and conveying a social message is vindicated by artists from all disciplines, whether by occupying the streets in protest of unequal women’s rights and equality or sexual harassment and rape, or in other social demonstrations. In the field of dance, some companies perform expressly in public spaces with the precise aim of conquering these arenas as a stage to make female bodies visible, highlighting their diversity and demanding more equality and freedom. In this article, we use collective interviews with two French companies committed to promoting feminism in the streets BellyWarda (FatChanceBellyDance©) and L’Armée des Roses (performing the cancan), to analyse the choreographic discourse related to this concept. The study examined the appropriation of public spaces, interactions with the public at large and their reception of these performances, social links between dancers, and the transmission of feminist values. Observation of these dances and the interview outcomes was addressed from the perspectives of the sociology of emotions, phenomenology of urban spaces, and women’s studies. The context of the COVID-19 pandemic prevented an analysis of the public
reception of these street actions, but the ongoing situation in France in which dance was considered a ‘nonessential cultural asset’ during the second lockdown (when this research took place), was discussed.


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Biografia de l'autor/a


Maria Patricio-Mulero has a PhD in sociology and cultural management from the University of Barcelona and the Université Paris 8. She researches the sociology of literature, the interaction of writers and artists with cities, cultural politics, and dance and feminism. She is also a member of the CECPI laboratories (Universitat de València), LLA Creatis (Université Toulouse Jean Jaurès), LCEIE (Universitat de Barcelona), and CRESPPA (Université Paris 8). She is Associate Professor in the Department of Languages and Cultures at the Université Toulouse 1 Capitole.


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Com citar

Patricio-Mulero, M. (2022) “Dancing in the street as feminist empowerment: the choreographic discourse of the BellyWarda and L’Armée des Roses collectives”, Debats. Revista de cultura, poder i societat, 7, pp. 103–117. Available at: https://revistadebats.net/article/view/5514 (Accessed: 13 July 2024).