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Gaga as Metatechnique: Negotiating Choreography, Improvisation, and Technique in a Neoliberal Dance Market

  • Meghan Quinlan
Abstract

Gaga, a practice developed by Israeli choreographer Ohad Naharin, is one of the most popular training methods on the global dance market. Structured as a metatechnique, or a system for negotiating techniques within one's body, Gaga teaches students to both draw on and reject multiple movement techniques to create their own movement. I consider how the paradigms of choreography, technique, and improvisation are blurred together in the pedagogical model of a metatechnique and how training dancers to shift between choreographer, dancer, and improviser has significant ramifications for understanding their agency. The metatechnique model of Gaga falls in line with neoliberal values of efficiency and a wide range of skills and knowledge; this analysis provides an understanding of recent trends in dance training in relation to contemporary political and socioeconomic structures.

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Dance Research Journal
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