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Profs & Pints DC: Who Owns Dance Moves?

January 23, 2022 @ 3:00 pm - 5:30 pm UTC+0

$2 – $12.

Profs and Pints DC presents: “Who Owns Dance Moves?” a look at choreography’s debate over ownership, appropriation, and racial justice, with Jill Vasbinder, who teaches about the history of dance as a senior lecturer in dance at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

[Under current District of Columbia regulations attendees will be required to wear a mask except while eating or drinking. The Bier Baron will be requiring proof of Covid-19 vaccination or a negative Covid-19 test from the previous 72 hours for entry. It also will be requiring ticketed event attendees to purchase a minimum of two items, which can be food or beverages, including soft drinks.]

The social media platform TikTok is just the latest site where plays out a battle more than a century old, over the ownership of dance moves. From the very beginning of jazz dance back in the 19th century, white dancers have profited by pilfering the choreography of Black creators. Social media platforms have created more opportunity for such theft, but might they also offer a solution a well?

Gain a deep understanding of the law governing ownership of dance moves and the history of conflict over ownership with Jill Vasbinder, a dancer, scholar, and community activist whose research has focused heavily on the decolonization of dance history and on the intersections of dance, open licensing, and copyright.

She’ll take on several of the big questions related to attribution that plague TikTok and dance creators today, such as: How does one claim one claim ownership of their work? How do we as users of social media give credit to the works we are using? When does the copying of something simply represent a compliment, and when should it be thought of as appropriation?

Ms. Vasbinder will give a historical overview of copyright and its relation to dance through the 20th and 21st centuries, exploring why the “ownership” of dance is so difficult to pin down. She’ll look at how dance as a social activity differs from dance as “art,” and where dance on social media falls between the two. Woven throughout her talk will be discussions of racism, sexism, cultural appropriation, plagiarism, and copyright infringement.

Finally, she’ll look at whether various changes in the law associated with new technologies may offer a path forward. Can Open Source and Creative Commons licensing be applied to dance in general, and to creators who use TikTok? Can they create an antiracist and inclusive creative space in social media for Black choreographers?

Fans of dance will conclude that attending this talk was a great move. (Advance tickets: $12. Doors: $15, or $13 with a student ID. Listed time is for doors. Talk starts 30 minutes later. Please allow yourself time to place any orders and get seated and settled in.)


January 23, 2022
3:00 pm - 5:30 pm UTC+0
$2 – $12.
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Profs and Pints
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The Bier Baron Tavern
1523 22nd Street Northwest
Washington, DC 20037 United States
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202 293-1888
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