Dancing with a billboard: Exploring the affective repertoires of gentrifying urban spaces

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Based on analysis of a spontaneous dance encounter with a billboard on a construction site in a gentrifying neighborhood in Copenhagen, this article examines the potential of dance as an affective methodology for engaging with urban spaces on standby. Drawing on dance studies, affect theory and feminist new materialisms, I discuss an autoethnographic vignette of the dance encounter to show how affective methodology enables attending to embodied, spatial and temporal aspects of standby as a mode of organisation of temporary urban spaces. I propose the notion of affective repertoires to capture how dance can surface the range of ambivalent, heterogeneous affects that permeate and are afforded by the ‘active inactivity’ of standby. I discuss how dance as an affective methodology expands the researcher’s capacities to affect and be affected, facilitating knowledge production that better accommodates the ambivalence, frictions and multiplicity of urban spaces on standby. Apart from proposing the notion of affective repertoires as a prism for unraveling urban spaces on standby, the article’s discussion of the potential of dance as embodied knowing contributes to the emerging research field of affective methodologies.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEphemera: Theory & politics in organization
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)229-253
Publication statusPublished - 3 Mar 2021


  • affective methodology
  • dance
  • urban space
  • gentrification
  • standby
  • affective repertoires

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