On Softness

Alexa Mardon, May 2016

Softness, approaching action without unnecessary force and self-care are techniques, philosophies and political acts that extend outside of our dance practices. In thinking a lot about this lately, some questions that have come up for me are: how can softness allow a different relationship to the conflicts or obstacles I encounter? How can I extend that practice to make space for others to do the same? Where do gendered expectations about emotion, work and productivity come in, and who gets the privilege of practicing self care? The following articles work through some of these questions and many more:

Lora Mathis writes On Radical Softness

In Reimagining Softness, Sara Bruno responds: ”If society is telling me, that as a woman of color, I am not supposed to be soft or only react emotionally instead of deconstructing my emotions my emotional intelligence then becomes a weapon.”

Sarah Ahmed in response to Audre Lorde: Selfcare as Warfare

Johanna Hedva and Sick Woman Theory: “The most anti-capitalist protest is to care for another and to care for yourself. To take on the historically feminized and therefore invisible practice of nursing, nurturing, caring. To take seriously each other’s vulnerability and fragility and precarity, and to support it, honor it, empower it. To protect each other, to enact and practice community. A radical kinship, an interdependent sociality, a politics of care.”

10 Practices for Creating a Safe Space in Your Mind-Body Classes from Irene Lyon

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