Arbeitsfreude und Tanzwut im (Post-)Fordismus
Black dances became popular in Europe and the United States not be-cause they were exotic or different, but because they enabled a critical attitude towards (self-)exploitation under modern regimes of mass labor. While the capacity of bodies to communicate and cooperate freely was increasingly supervised and instrumentalized on the shopfloor by disciplinary arrangements and racist discourses, people reappropriated it on the dancefloor in radically experimental and non-instrumentalist ways. The aesthetics and techniques of black diaspora dances constituted a vast repertoire of polemical movements and attitudes questioning the idea of self-liberation through work. Today, this history offers new perspectives on post-Fordist subjectivities and their work ethics. By assembling a diverse body of sources from early cinema to the 1980s Hollywood dance movies, from picture postcards to popular scientific publications and caricatures, the article shows that dancing was not the "other" of work in modern times.