Only Human: Critical Reflections on Dance, Creation, and Identity


  • Indrani Margolin University of Northern British Columbia
  • Dominique Riviere University of Toronto



Multiculturalism, dance education, dance community, social identity, inequity.


In this article, we consider the relationship between artistic creation and the negotiation of social identity in multicultural contexts.  Our discussion is largely grounded in the scholarship on critical multiculturalism, socio-cultural theories of artistic production, and on dance identity and education.  Through an arts-based, narrative analysis of our re-viewing of select performance DVDs from the amateur dance collective of which we were both members, we take the position that dance in multicultural contexts can create important opportunities for a critical reflection on how an artistic identity (i.e. “dancer”) and a form of cultural production (i.e. “dance performance”) - can both challenge and reinforce normative understandings about social identity (i.e. “gender”, “race”, “class”, etc.).  We discuss the implications of this contradiction for dance creation, performance and education through the analytical themes of “Training, Technique and Choreography”; “Social Organization and Hierarchy”; and “Diversity and Inclusion”.  

Author Biographies

  • Indrani Margolin, University of Northern British Columbia
    School of Social Work, Associate Professor
  • Dominique Riviere, University of Toronto


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