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297 REAL cultural performance

297 REAL cultural performance - Legal 297 Social Justice...

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Legal 297 Social Justice and Cultural Performance There are various ways a person or group of people are able to express themselves, one way is through a cultural performance. Through a form or music, a piece of art, a dance or poetry, a message can be communicated to the audience. These messages can be serious and make a legal claim or communicate a message about social justice. Meg McLagan writes, “In today’s globally mediated world, visual images play a central role in determining which violences are redeemed and which remain unrecognized” (Introduction: Making Human Rights Claims Public Pg 191). Therefore visually seeing something will make the audience feel as though the event is really happening, and it will bring out whatever message is trying to be communicated quickly and efficiently. These performances are also “designed to create a reflection and evoke a visual/verbal response in an urban setting where cultural amnesia has been induced by the dominant commercial culture” (Ambiguous Identities pg 265). Therefore the goal of the cultural performance is to have some sort of reaction from the audience that wants to spark change. The University of Massachusetts’s dance department held a performance in early December of last semester. The second piece performed in the show was named “For All People Everywhere”. Through the use of poetry and dance, the performers effectively communicated a message about social injustice during the Civil Rights Movement. Although the message of social injustice was communicated during the performance, the performance would not gain enough momentum to keep going and carry out a social change. Pratt 2
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The whole dance piece, named “For All People Everywhere” consisted of three smaller dances. Each number consisted of a different dancer acting out the poetry or song being performed by a separate artist on stage. The first piece was called Negro Speaks of River , a poem by Langston Hughes. The dancer was able to effectively accentuate the verses of the poem. In
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