Dancers as Inter-Corporeality: Breaking Down the Reluctant Body

  • Emmanouela MandalakiEmail author


Dancing like feeling, becoming, corporeally connecting…

The current account draws on my experience in the organized community of the dance to illustrate the ability of the body to give rise to a reflexive understanding of the emergent potentialities and limitations as individuals interact with each other in organizational contexts. It discusses corporeally felt moments of tension arising in the space between negotiated ordered and freer dancing interactions to propose the emergence of an affective sociality presenting itself as a resolution of this tension, while partners generously and openly dispose their bodies to the touch of the other. Through open corporeal sharing, partners reinvent their body’s ability to perform multiple gendered selves freed from dominating or emancipatory tendencies, thus breaking down traditionally conceived gender stereotypes.


  1. Albright, Ann Cooper. 1997. Choreographing difference: The body and identity in contemporary dance. Hanover: Wesleyan University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Anderson, Leon. 2006. Analytic autoethnography. Journal of Contemporary Ethnography 35 (4): 373–395.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bell, David, and Ruth Holliday. 2000. Naked as nature intended. Body & Society 6 (3–4): 127–140.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Blacking, John. 1985. Movement, dance, music, and the Venda girls’ initiation cycle. In Society and the dance: The social anthropology of process and performance, ed. Paul Spencer, 64–91. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  5. Bourdieu, Pierre. 1990. The logic of practice. Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  6. Butler, Judith. 1988. Performative acts and gender constitution: An essay in phenomenology and feminist theory. Theatre Journal 40 (4): 519–531. Scholar
  7. Cancienne, Mary Bern, and Celeste N. Snowber. 2003. Writing rhythm: Movement as method. Qualitative Inquiry 9 (2): 237–253.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Conquergood, Dwight. 1991. Rethinking ethnography: Towards a critical cultural politics. Communication, Monographs 58: 179–194.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Cunliffe, Ann, and Chris Coupland. 2012. From hero to villain to hero: Making experience sensible through embodied narrative sensemaking. Human Relations 65 (1): 63–88. Scholar
  10. Czarniawska-Joerges, Barbara. 1995. Narration or science? Collapsing the division in organization studies. Organization 2 (1): 11–33.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. de Spinoza, Benedictus. 1677–1994. The ethics and other works. Trans. E. Curley. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  12. Di Paolo, Ezequiel A. 2009. Overcoming autopoiesis: An enactive detour on the way from life to society. In Autopoiesis in organization theory and practice, ed. R. Magallhaes and R. Sanchez, 43–68. Bingley: Emerald.Google Scholar
  13. Diprose, Rosalyn. 1994. The bodies of women: Ethics, embodiment and sexual difference. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  14. ———. 2002. Corporeal generosity: On giving with Nietzsche, Merleau-Ponty and Levinas. New York: SUNY.Google Scholar
  15. Down, Simon, and James Reveley. 2009. Between narration and interaction: Situating first-line supervisor identity work. Human Relations 62: 379–401.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Eliot, Tomas Stearns. 1963. The metaphysical poets 1921, in Selected essays. London: Faber & Faber.Google Scholar
  17. Fisher, Kelly, and Christine Reiser Robbins. 2015. Embodied leadership: Moving from leader competencies to leaderful practices. Leadership 11 (3): 281–299.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Flores-Pereira, Maria Tereza, Eduardo Davel, and Neusa Rolita Cavedon. 2008. Drinking beer and understanding organizational culture embodiment. Human Relations 61 (7): 1007–1026.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Fotaki, Marianna, Beverly Dawn Metcalfe, and Nancy Harding. 2014. Writing materiality into management and organization studies through and with Luce Irigaray. Human Relations 16 (10): 1239–1263.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Foucault, Michel. 1990. The history of sexuality. Volume I: An introduction. Trans. R. Hurley. London: Penguin.Google Scholar
  21. Gannon, Susanne. 2006. The (im) possibilities of writing the self-writing: French poststructural theory and autoethnography. Cultural Studies? Critical Methodologies 6 (4): 474–495.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Grosz, Elizabeth A. 1994. Volatile bodies: Toward a corporeal feminism. Indianapolis: Indiana University Press.Google Scholar
  23. Hancock, Philip. 2008. Embodied generosity and an ethics of organization. Organization Studies 29 (10): 1357–1373.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Heidegger, Martin. 1968. What is called thinking? Trans. F.D. Wieck and J.G. Gray. New York: Harper Row.Google Scholar
  25. Helin, Jenny. 2015. Writing process after reading Bakhtin: From theorized plots to unfinalizable “living” events. Journal of Management Inquiry 24 (2): 174–185.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Highwater, Jamake. 1992. Dance: Rituals of experience. 3rd ed. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  27. Ian, Lennie. 2000. Embodying management. In Body and organization, ed. J. Hassard, R. Holliday, and H. Willmott, 141–157. London: Sage. isbn:07619591.Google Scholar
  28. Islam, Gazi. 2015. A taste for otherness: Anthropophagy and the embodied self in organizations. Scandinavian Journal of Management 31 (3): 351–361.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Kenny, Kate, and Marianna Fotaki. 2014. From gendered organizations to compassionate borderspaces: Reading corporeal ethics with Bracha Ettinger. Organization 22 (2): 183–199. Scholar
  30. Knights, David. 2015. Binaries need to shatter for bodies to matter: Do disembodied masculinities undermine organizational ethics? Organization 22 (2): 200–216.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Küpers, Wendelin. 2013. A phenomenology of embodied senses: The “making” of sense in organisational culture. International Journal of Work Organisation and Emotion 5 (4): 325.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Locke, Karen, Karen Golden-Biddle, and Martha S. Feldman. 2008. Making doubt generative: Rethinking the role of doubt in the research process. Organization Science 19 (6): 907–918.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Manuel, Peter. 1998. Gender politics in Caribbean popular music: Consumer perspectives and academic interpretation. Popular Music and Society 22 (2): 11–29.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Medford, Kristina. 2006. Caught with a fake ID: Ethical questions about slippage in autoethnography. Qualitative Inquiry 12 (5): 853–864.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Merleau-Ponty, Maurice. 1964. The primacy of perception (ed. J.M. Edie). Evanston: Northwestern University Press.Google Scholar
  36. O’Fallon, Michael J., and Kenneth D. Butterfield. 2005. A review of the empirical ethical decision-making literature: 1996–2003. Journal of Business Ethics 59 (4): 375–413.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Prasad, Ajnesh. 2014. You can’t go home again: And other psychoanalytic lessons from crossing a neo-colonial border. Human Relations 67 (2): 233–257.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Pullen, Alison, and Carl Rhodes. 2008. Dirty writing. Culture and Organization 14 (3): 241–259.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. ———. 2010. Gender, mask and the face. In Revealing and concealing gender: Issues of visibility in organizations, ed. P. Lewis and R. Simpson, 233–248. Basingstoke: Palgrave.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. ———. 2015. Ethics, embodiment and organizations. Organization 22 (2): 159–165. Scholar
  41. Rhodes, Carl. 2012. Ethics, alterity and the rationality of leadership justice. Human Relations 65 (10): 1311–1331.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Rhodes, Carl, and Edward Wray-Bliss. 2013. The ethical difference of organization. Organization 20 (1): 39–50.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Roberts, John. 2003. The manufacture of corporate social responsibility: Constructing corporate sensibility. Organization 10 (2): 249–265.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Salsa Social Club New York. N.D. 2004. Salsa social club New York home page. Accessed 23 Oct 2017.
  45. Salsawhore. 2000. Commentary on the salsa scene by an insider: Women’s lead. On Accessed 25 Oct 2017.
  46. Scott, Susie. 2010. How to look good (nearly) naked: The performative regulation of the swimmer’s body. Body & Society 16 (2): 143–168. Scholar
  47. Slutskaya, Natasha. 2006. Creativity and repetition. Creativity and Innovation Management 15 (2): 150–156.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Slutskaya, Natasha, and C. De Cock. 2008. The body dances: Carnival dance and organization. Organization 15 (6): 851–868.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Strauss, Anselm L. 1978. Negotiations: Varieties, contexts, processes and social order. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  50. Strauss, Anselm, L. Schatzman, D. Ehrlich, R. Bucher, and M. Sabshin. 1963. The hospital and its negotiated order. In The hospital in modern society, ed. E. Freidson, 147–169. New York: Free Press.Google Scholar
  51. Sweeney, Fionnghuala. 2015. Beautiful, radiant things: Aesthetics, experience and feminist practice. A response to Kathy Davis. Feminist Theory 16 (1): 27–30.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Thanem, Torkild. 2004. The body without organs: Nonorganizational desire in organizational life. Culture and Organization 10: 203–217.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Thanem, Torkild, and Louise Wallenberg. 2015. What can bodies do? Reading Spinoza for an affective ethics of organizational life. Organization 22 (2): 235–250.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Wetherell, Margaret. 2012. Affect and emotion. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  55. Wieland, Stacey M.B. 2010. Ideal selves as resources for the situated practice of identity. Management Communication Quarterly 24: 503–528.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Young, Katharine. 1994. Whose body? An introduction to bodylore. Journal of American Folklore 107 (423): 3–8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Los AndesBogotáColombia

Personalised recommendations