Dancing in the office: A study of gestures as resistance

Emilie Reinhold, Claudia Schnugg, Charles Barthold


Following the art-body-ethics turn in management studies we use dance as an analogy in order to explore how
the body can resist organisational control in office work contexts. We argue that in office work gestures can be a
site of post-recognition resistance. Drawing on two art videos and on dance studies, we explain that this is
operated either through arrest or through flow. In fact aesthetic experiments in gesturing disrupt the work
rhythm needed for organisational efficiency and enforced by organisational control. This allows us to contribute
primarily to the literature on resistance in organisation studies and relatedly to the growing literature on dance
in organisation studies through demonstrating how dance can be a source of resistance.

The Stockholm region is booming, but still lacks studios for artists, especially emerging ones.

Klostret Living Arts aims to change this situation. We want to bring together some 60 artists, housed in a traditional late 19th/early 20th century building, and all interested in working together for a better society. Sweden is in urgent need of more art, especially explorative and challenging art, art that can open up and offer new possibilities. Klostret will focus on the production process and encourage dance, music, literature and the visual arts to cross-fertilize, drawing on each form’s unique strengths.

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