A line that delimits nothing, that describes no contour, that no longer goes from one point
to another but instead passes between points, that is always declining from the horizontal
and the vertical and deviating from the diagonal, that is constantly changing direction, a
mutant line of this kind that is without outside or inside, form or background, beginning
or end and that is as alive as a continuous variation— such a line is truly an abstract line,
and describes a smooth space. gilles deleuze and félix guattari, Thousand
Plateaus, 1987
More than a logic of oppositions or a historical proposition, black music’s and
dance’s African origins were also matters of people performing the past out of
the temporal and spatial practices given to them in modernity. By “practice”
is meant the kinds of play (analyzing, listening, embodying, disalienating, and
desiring) with the past that this book has mapped and, in the pro cess, ended up
following a range of individuals who in engaging in black music’s and dance’s
African origins, either implicitly or explic itly and no matter their motivations
(scientific, artistic, po litical, or experiential), were all along forging futures out
of the temporal and spatial conditions of their respective placings in modernity.
To support this point is to not only extract the evidence from the previous five
chapters of the past’s subordination to the workings of their pres ent and futures
but also highlight the urgency in our own pres ent of how we are researching,
understanding, and, most importantly, teaching black music and dance history.
Dance- Music as Rhizome
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