Community Dance and the Micropolitics of Gender: Contributions to the Concept of Dance Activism from Embodied Life Stories with Rural Women in Costa RicaMaría José Bejarano Salazar
A community dance project established in 2021 in the Costa Rican rural location of Los Santos involves fifteen women in the practice of improvisational dance and expressive techniques. Moreover, the creative process approaches life stories as sensitive material held in the bodies and explores the building of body-based narratives related to the territory. The practice of dance created new bonds among women, and creative movement allowed for the expansion of expressive possibilities. These actions are recognized by the women as the main results of the process, bringing new perspectives on themselves, other women, and the patriarchal dynamics present in this society. The article analyses the social and artistic process titled “From Within” from Suely Rolnik’s concept of micropolitics, concerned with gender issues within the community. Taking micropolitics as a keystone, the project is viewed as a subjectification device that promotes liberation through experimentation and opens new possibilities for women’s life choices. The analysis contributes to the concept of dance activism as a practice that operates on a micropolitical level through embodied micro actions that open channels for social change in everyday life.