About the Author
ReadyMadeBouquet is a project of Alexandra Harlig–dance/media/popular culture scholar, observer of social media behavior, and amateur fashonista in the process of getting a PhD in Dance Studies at The Ohio State University. This blog represents my academic persona; head over to woolcapesandbackpacks.wordpress.com for DIYs and Lifestyle blogging; to https://sartorialscholars.wordpress.com/ for fashion and popular culture criticism with four colleagues in other disciplines.
I am interested in the development and dissemination of popular dances and the way a dance reflects and affects the socio-economic, historico-political, and cultural realities of the communities in which it is practiced. Because popular dance forms develop in a globalized world, I pursue these topics with an eye on the theory of transculturation, which enables an investigation of cultural loss as well as cultural gain and syncretism, as well as other cultural and political theories.
The sharing of cultural information is central to the development of these forms, and I intend to investigate the role of cultural infrastructure such as technology, music industries, and dance clubs in this process. For example, how does the circulation of a music video on YouTube affect the development of the dance form(s) featured in it? How does it shape the perception of the socio-economic status of those portrayed in it?
I believe in the investigation of popular dance as both performance and process, and hope to allow for discussion of the social, political, and artistic experiences of practitioners without losing the valuable perspective of the work as an entity separate from the creator.
Resources on the Blog
In the pages (listed above the header) you can find some of my work on two dance forms, B-boying and Kuduro (a current form of popular dance in Angola). As part of a larger comparative project, I assembled the available movement encyclopedias. I hope these are useful tools- if you do use them, please cite me!
You can also find a growing annotated bibliography of resources pertinent to dance, hip-hop, cultural, and political studies.
ReadyMadeBouquet: The Inspiration
Ready-Made Bouquet is the title of a poem by Dean Young originally published in Ploughshares Literary Magazine’s Winter 1993/94 issue. While their online archives are down, here is the link for the poem on JSTOR, for which you’ll need a log-in. This poem was introduced to me by the amazing poet and teacher Lyrae Van Clief- Stefanon, and fundamentally changed the way I wrote and read poetry.