This book provides a timely intervention in the fields of performance studies and theatre history, and to larger issues of global cultural exchange. The authors offer a provocative argument for rethinking the scholarly assessment of how diverse performative cultures interact, how they are interwoven, and how they are dependent upon each other.
While the term ‘intercultural theatre’ as a concept points back to postcolonialism and its contradictions, The Politics of Interweaving Performance Cultures explores global developments in the performing arts that cannot adequately be explained and understood using postcolonial theory. The authors challenge the dichotomy ‘the West and the rest’ – where Western cultures are ‘universal’ and non-Western cultures are ‘particular’ – as well as ideas of national culture and cultural ownership.
This volume uses international case studies to explore the politics of globalization, looking at new paternalistic forms of exchange and the new inequalities emerging from it. These case studies are guided by the principle that processes of interweaving performance cultures are, in fact, political processes. The authors explore the inextricability of the aesthetic and the political, whereby aesthetics cannot be perceived as opposite to the political; rather, the aesthetic is the political.
Helen Gilbert’s essay ‘Let the Games Begin: Pageants, Protests, Indigeneity (1968–2010)’won the 2015 Marlis Thiersch Prize for best essay from the Australasian Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies Association.
Introduction: Interweaving Performance Cultures: Re-thinking ‘Intercultural Theatre’ Towards an Experience and Theory of Performance beyond Postcolonialism Erika Fischer-Lichte Part I: Strategies and Dynamics 1. Postcolonial Modernity: Theatre in Morocco and the Interweaving Loop Khalid Amine 2. Cultural Interweaving in Mexican Political Cabaret Gastón A. Alzate 3. Farewell and Welcome Back, My Concubine: Female Impersonation on the Chinese Stage Shen Lin 4. Performing Orientalist, Intercultural and Globalized Modernities: The Case of Les Naufragés du Fol Espoir by the Théâtre du Soleil Brian Singleton Part II: Rituals and Festivals 5. Oceanic Imagination, Intercultural Performance, Pacific Historiography Margaret Werry 6. Dancing for the Dead Jacqueline Lo 7. Un/familiar Landscapes: Tragedy and Festivals Natascha Siouzouli 8. "Let the Games Begin": Pageants, Protests, Indigeneity (1968–2010) Helen Gilbert Part III: Failures and Resistances 9. Hauntings of the Intercultural: Enigmas and Lessons on the Borders of Failure Rustom Bharucha 10. Strategic Unweaving: Itō Michio and the Diasporic Dancing Body Carol Fisher Sorgenfrei 11. Linguistic and Cultural Interweaving on the Contemporary English and American Stages Marvin Carlson 12. Failed Stages: Postcolonial Public Spheres and the Search for a Caribbean Theatre Christopher Balme Epilogue: Global Pathways Homi K. Bhabha
Helen Gilbert’s essay ‘Let the Games Begin: Pageants, Protests, Indigeneity (1968–2010)’ won the 2015 Marlis Thiersch Prize for best essay from the Australasian Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies Association.
"Collectively, the essays in The Politics of Interweaving Performance Cultures offer a provocative argument for rethinking the paradigms that structure the scholarly assessment of how diverse performative cultures interact, how they are interwoven, and how they draw – indeed how they are dependant – upon each other. Reading this book, one cannot help but feel that its essays are opening the first round of what will become a very significant debate." – James Harding, University of Warwick, UK
"The book repeatedly makes the point that the interaction of performance cultures is a political process, and yet it also provides solid empirical research and essays practically exploring specific productions. In this way it avoids obscuring experiences by crunching abstract data, and is able to provide a fascinating perspective on other countries and cultures via the study of performance." -- Anton Krueger, Rhodes University, South African Theatre Journal
"Assuredly an academic resource that must be considered requisite for any performance studies context committed to exploring cultures in all their diversities." -- Deirdre Osborne, Goldsmiths University of London, Theatre Research International