Baring Unbearable Sensualities brings together a bold methodology, an interdisciplinary perspective and a rich array of primary sources to deepen and complicate mainstream understandings of Hip Hop dance, which have generally reduced it to a set of techniques divorced from social contexts. Drawing on close observation and interviews with Hip Hop pioneers and their students, Rosemarie A. Roberts proposes a framework that opens up new theoretical space for considering collective knowledge formations and collective knowledge production. Roberts argues that the historical, cultural and social experiences of marginalized black and brown bodies materialize in and through Hip Hop dance from the streets of the South Bronx and other urban centers to contemporary worldwide expressions. An Afro-diasporic dance form, Hip Hop dance, she argues, is a provocative and sentient process of resisting oppressive manifestations of race and power. A companion web site contains over 30 video clips referenced in the text.
"Rosemarie A. Roberts has constructed a sturdy and urgent study of how Hip Hop dance reflects particular cultural imperatives that are often elided in the construction of false theoretical universals. She masterfully explores the scholarly construction of the question of body and the 'ways that histories of social inequality are borne' across several areas of research. Ultimately, this book confirms the myriad complexities at work in the deployment of Hip Hop dance in theatrical and learning environments circumscribed by differences among people too often ignored or denied."
"Baring Unbearable Sensualities is methodologically groundbreaking, theoretically incisive, and politically inspiring...a major contribution to Hip Hop dance scholarship."