Shakin’ it in the direction of applause: Manifesting Social Change Through Dance in Mali
How can a booty shaking dance change the way that we look at and think about social change? In the Mande world, the butt has a storied history of forcing the hand of power. From manifesting peace to poking holes in governmental shrouds of secrecy, the genitalia, in general, and the butt, in particular, has played an interesting, if under-appreciated role in Malian citizens’ efforts toward empowerment and governmental accountability. In this gathering, we will look at the pelvic pulsating dance jondon/wolosodon as performed in the cosmopolitan setting of Bamako. In so doing, we will consider how skillful butt shaking can work as a tool of empowerment for dancers who are often otherwise socially excluded.