Felicia McCarrenFrench Moves: The Cultural Politics of le hip hop

Oxford University Press, 2013

by Roxanne Panchasi on June 10, 2015

Felicia McCarren

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Felicia McCarren's latest book, French Moves: The Cultural Politics of le hip hop (Oxford University Press, 2013) explores the fascinating evolution of this urban dance form in the French context. Following the choreography and performances of key figures from the hip hop world in France, McCarren's is a history that pays close attention to dancers and their moves, and especially to the ways in which contemporary dance is informed by-and responsive to-social and political concerns and change.

Tracing the history of le hip hop as a form that arrived in France from the United States in the 1980s, French Moves examines the ways this cultural import came to "speak French". Dance has occupied a privileged place in French national culture historically. French hip hop benefited from the outset from the support of a Socialist government interested in encouraging this meeting of street and stage in performances that embody youth, cultural diversity, and a mouvement social on a number of levels. Considering politics, poetics, techniques and technologies, the book has exciting and important implications for how we think about bodies and borders. It will be of great interest to anyone thinking through issues of citizenship and difference, from the end of the twentieth century up through the complexities of identity and nation in present-day France.

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