‘The Contemporary Dance Economy: Problems and Potentials in the Neoliberal Moment’

Katerina Paramana

Conduct is the activity of conducting (conduire), of conduction (la conduction) if you like, but it is equally the way in which one conducts oneself (se conduit), lets oneself be conducted (se laisse conduire), is conducted (est conduit), and finally, in which one behaves (se comporter) as an effect of a form of conduct (une conduite) as the action of conducting or of conduction (conduction) (Foucault 2007: 193).

I am currently finalising the writing of an article in which I address what I consider the problems and potentials of the dance economy in the contemporary neoliberal moment. Using Foucault’s thinking on the relationship between biopolitics, conduct and neoliberal governmentality, and Wendy Brown’s perspective on Foucault’s thinking, I examine how the conduct of the dance field is – in the different ways that Foucault is referring to it – affecting and affected by neoliberalism. To do so, I examine some of the problems of the dance economy in the contemporary moment as I, and other scholar-practitioners, have identified them, and address their relationship to neoliberalism – how they result from conducts suggested by neoliberalism or helping it do its work by becoming conducts of the field. I propose ways we might address them, suggesting that it is urgent that we do so. In many ways this article constitutes a critique of the contemporary dance economy; a critique that, by showing the relation of our conduct to conducts imposed by larger economies, aspires at articulating our role as central to both advancing the field and effecting social change.



Brown, Wendy. 2015. Undoing the Demos: Neoliberalism’s Stealth Revolution. New York, NY: Zone Books.

Foucault, Michel. 2007. Security, Territory, Population: Lectures at the Collège de France 1977-1978. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.


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