The distances that separate East from West – the two extremes of the Eurasian continent – are enormous. Yet, since ancient times, the people of Europe and Asia have tried to overcome this remoteness through a network of trade routes known as the Silk Road. The great migrations, the continuous military conquests and the paths relentlessly opened up by merchants have been at the origin of ideological, technical and artistic exchanges, resulting in a fusion of cultures.
Among the ceaseless travellers on the routes of the Silk Road, along with soldiers, merchants, messengers, and pilgrims, we find those who earned their living as jugglers, acrobats, musicians, actors and dancers. They were people who brought with them, rooted in their bodies, their own techniques and histories. Through these performers, the ‘fabulous and mysterious Orient’ has exerted an ongoing influence on the art of the theatre in Europe and America. In the same way, especially in modern times, actors and dancers from India, China, Japan, and other Asian countries have drawn inspiration from Western dramatic genres for a renewal of their ancient traditions.
A long history of travelling actors moving between East and West has slowly taken shape, and lies at the foundation of our contemporary, professional performative arts. This updated and revised edition of Drama and Performance Between East and West (first published in 1992), traces this history from classical antiquity to the present. The book constitutes the first complete in-depth historiographic inquiry into the subject.
Table of Contents
Preface, by Vicki Ann Cremona; by Nicola Savarese - I. THE 'MASCHERA' OF MARCO POLO. The Exotic Myth of Asia from Antiquity to the Renaissance - 1. Asia in Tragedy - 2. Alexander's Dream - 3. Rome looks to the Orient - 4. Mimes and Pantomimes in Rome - 5. Byzantine Interludes - 6. Jugglers in the Han Court - 7. Tang Exoticism - 8. The Students from the Pear Garden - 9. The Fabulous Asia of the Middle Ages - 10. Tartar Clothing for Marco Polo - 11. Morris Dances and Moorish Figures - 12. Theatre in the Court of the Great Khan - 13. Danses Macabres - 14. Byzantine Crossroads - 15. From Constantinople to Istanbul - 16. Costumes from Far--off Countries - 17. The Moor of Venice - 18. The Prisons of Algiers - II. THE SAVAGE HARLEQUIN - Oriental Exoticism in European Theatre between the Sixteenth and Eighteenth Centuries - 1. After the Pepper, the Souls: the Jesuits in Asia - 2. False Brahmins - 3. Christian Indians and Japanese Martyrs - 4. Local Colour - 5. Amorous Turks and Gallant Moors - 6. The Fake Turk - 7. In the Name of the Orient - 8. The Turkish March - 9. Persian Wives and Indian Widows - 10. Arlequin Sauvage - 11. The Silent Merchants - 12. Idle and Vile Profession - 13. The Chinese Fashion - 14. Chinese Shadows - 15. A Fundamental Misunderstanding - 16. The Translations of a Chinese Drama - 17. Voltaire's Edifying Orient - 18. L'Orphelin de la Chine - III. THE REINCARNATION OF SAKUNTALA - Oriental Theatres Between the Enlightenment and Romanticism - 1. The Beginnings of Orientalism - 2. Sakuntala in Europe - 3. Gautier's Ballet - 4. English Entertainments in London - 5. William Jones and His Twenty--Eight Tongues - 6. Sir William Discovers Sakuntala - 7. Theatres in India - 8. English Entertainments in Calcutta - 9. The Playhouse - 10. Mrs. Bristow's Little Theatre - 11. Mr. Lebedev's Theatre - 12. Philology and Anthropology - 13. The Theatres of Bengal - 14. A Street Theatre - 15. The Dances of the Bayaderes - 16. Romanticism and Orientalism - 17. In Search of Origins - 18. The Little Clay Cart - IV. AN EMBLEMATIC PLAY OF MIRRORS - Sada Yacco and Kawakami travel to the West - 1. A Parade on Broadway - 2. Kawakami Otojiro's American Tour - 3. The Paris Exposition Universelle of 1900 - 4. Sada Yacco at the Exhibition - 5. Golden Silk and Flames - 6. A Free Child - 7. The Students' Theatre - 8. From Politics to Theatre - 9. Theatre Artists - 10. The Development of the New Wave - 11. The Second European Tour - 12. The Garden of the Ten Thousand Pine Trees - 13. Kawakami's Last Journey - 14. Sada Yacco Retires from the Stage - 15. Three Continents - 16. The Authority of Apparent Experience - 17. The Science of Theatre - 18. Spider webs - V. THE MOBILE ACADEMY - Little Crossroads at the Dawn of the Twentieth Century - 1. A Lantern and a Bell - 2. The Discovery of Hanako - 3. The Various Talents of an Impresario - 4. Hanako Discovers She is an Actress - 5. Cambodian Dances - 6. Rodin's Last Works - 7. Rodin and the New Dance - 8. The King of Cambodia's Dancers - 9. The Great Resources - 10. Pioneers of the Rules - 11. The Rediscovered Dance - 12. Hanako Meets Rodin - 13. The Artist and the Model - 14. Passages - 15. The Dance of Shiva - 16. Hanako's Travels - 17. Some Notes on Realism in the Arts - 18. Provisional Conclusions - VI. THE TRADITION OF DIFFERENCE - Myth and History of Oriental Theatres in the Twentieth Century - 1. The Dialectic of Exoticism - 2. More About the World Exhibitions - 3. Attractions Large and Small - 4. Javanese Shadows - 5. Marionettes on the Banks of the Ganges - 6. The Invention of Tradition - 7. The Destinies of nô - 8. At the Hawk's Well - 9. Zeami's writings - 10. The Magic Pillow - 11. Kabuki in Pigalle - 12. Artaud Sees Balinese Theatre - 13. Stylization or Biomechanics? - 14. Hear the Movement, See the Sound - 15. Wind from the East - 16. The Lesson of the Far East - 17. To Heal a Wound - 18. Borderless Performances - Bibliography Index
Nicola Savarese (born in Rome, in 1945) is a member of the scientific staff of ISTA, the International School of Theatre Anthropology founded in 1980 by Eugenio Barba. He was professor of Performing Arts at the Universities of La Sapienza (Rome), Lecce, Bologna, and Roma Tre. He has also lectured at the Universities of Kyoto, Montreal, and Sorbonne III. He has travelled widely in Asia and particularly in Japan, where he lived for two years. His research and publications focus mainly on the complex dynamics of the encounters between Asian and Western theatres. His books include, among others: Il teatro al di la’ del mare (The Theatre beyond the sea, 1980), Parigi/Artaud/Bali (1997) and, in collaboration with Eugenio Barba, A Dictionary of Theatre Anthropology. The Secret Art of the Performer (1997) that has been translated into many languages. His research on classical Roman theatre, and in particular on the body-techniques of ancient pantomimes, gave rise to an exhibition inside the Colosseum in Rome (In Scaena Catalogue, 2007). He is also editor of the journals Teatro e Storia and Dyonisus ex machina. (www.nicolasavarese.it)