1st Edition

Inter-Asia in Motion Dance as Method

Edited By Emily Wilcox, Soo Ryon Yoon Copyright 2024

    This book explores dance and choreography as sites for the articulation of new theoretical and historical paradigms in inter-Asia cultural studies.

    The chapters in this volume cover a wide range of dance works, artists, genres, and media, from Kathak to K-pop flash mob dance, from Cold War diplomacy to avant-garde dance collaborations, and from festival dance to dance on screen. Working against the Western-centric category of “Asian dance” and Western-centric theorizations of intercultural performance that foreground “East-West” relationships, each contribution shows how dances in Asia make one another as their key aesthetic references beyond Eurocentric influences, as well as how inter-Asia relations emerge from cultural, geographical, and aesthetic diversity within the region. This book is the first of its kind in both cultural studies and dance studies. It will contribute greatly to readers’ understanding of how performance shapes and transforms the cultural and political dynamics of inter-Asia, with a focus on dance circulations in and across East, South, and Southeast Asia.

    Inter-Asia in Motion: Dance as Method will be a key resource for academics, researchers, and advanced students of Dance Studies, Performance Studies, Cultural Studies, Asian Studies, International Relations and Politics, History, and Sociology. The chapters included in this book were originally published in Inter-Asia Cultural Studies.


    Emily WILCOX and Soo Ryon YOON


    1. “Gangnam Style” in Dhaka and inter-Asian refraction

    Soo Ryon YOON


    2. Performing Bandung: China’s dance diplomacy with India, Indonesia, and Burma, 1953–1962

    Emily WILCOX


    3. Choreographing neutrality: dance in Cambodia’s Cold War diplomacy in Asia, 1953–1970

    Darlene Machell de Leon ESPENA


    4. Geographies of the classical: Kathak across India and Hong Kong

    Ping-hsiu Alice LIN


    5. Inter-Asian dance as method, artistic research as method: Nam Hwayeon’s work on Choi Seung-hee

    Jihoon KIM


    6. The aesthetics of intercultural method: from process to procession in new Indonesian and Indo-Australian dance

    Sadiah BOONSTRA and Paul RAE


    7. Bharatanatyam and Buddhist diplomacy: inter-Asia significations in Santha Bhaskar’s Anweshana: The Search for Nalanda

    Aparna R NAMBIAR


    8. “The nightingale is a graceful dancer”: Bulbul Chowdhury, dance heritage, and the new nation-state of Pakistan

    Priyanka BASU


    9. Dancers in the Japanese entertainment troupe of comfort in the 1940s: traveling along the Burma–China frontline

    Yukiyo HOSHINO


    10. Dancing me from South to South: on Wu-Kang Chen and Pichet Klunchun’s intercultural performance

    I-Wen CHANG


    11. Japanese dancers, Bollywood dance: finding authenticity at Tokyo’s Namaste India Festival

    Kristen RUDISILL


    12. Multicultural dance-making in Singapore: Merdeka, youth solidarity and cross-ethnicity, 1955–1980s

    Beiyu ZHANG


    Emily Wilcox is Associate Professor of Chinese Studies at William & Mary, USA. She is the author of Revolutionary Bodies: Chinese Dance and the Socialist Legacy, co-editor of Corporeal Politics: Dancing East Asia, and co-creator of the Chinese Dance Collection at the University of Michigan. Her co-edited book Teaching Film from the People's Republic of China will be published in 2024.

    Soo Ryon Yoon researches performance and racial-gender politics in Korea. She has written for positions: asia critique, Performance Research, Corporeal Politics: Dancing East Asia, and Realisms in East Asian Performances among others. Yoon has taught at Northwestern University, Yale University, Lingnan University, and Ewha Womans University. She is currently a National Research Foundation Academic Research Professor at the Institute for East Asian Studies, Sungkonghoe University.