Biopolitics and Media Power in the Online Dance Remake: Remixing Beyoncé’s “***Flawless” in the YouTube Archive

Kristin Mcgee*

*Corresponding author for this work

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    This article examines the dance sequences from Beyoncé’s 2013 video “***Flawless” to highlight the centrality of popular black dance within contemporary culture. Further, it looks beyond Beyoncé’s corpus to critically examine the dance remake, a forum in which dancers harness “media power” (Carroll) within the YouTube archive to re-signify Beyoncé’s work through collective choreographed dance. In this environment, dancers construct alternative biopolitics grounded by localized and participatory modes of identification. In short, this article argues that Beyoncé’s deeply personal and multifaceted poetics, when remixed via collective articulations, prompt non-essentialist negotiations of black culture’s intersectionality. Ultimately such intersectional responses to Beyoncé’s videos complicate recent debates about feminism, resilience, and sexuality within the music industry. It is also within the YouTube archive where the choreographer has assumed an elevated yet precarious status.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)22-41
    Number of pages20
    JournalPopular Music and Society
    Issue number1
    Early online date18-Dec-2018
    Publication statusPublished - 2019

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