1st Edition

Women in Asian Performance Aesthetics and politics

Edited By Arya Madhavan Copyright 2017
    220 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    220 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Women in Asian Performance offers a vital re-assessment of women's contributions to Asian performance traditions, focusing for the first time on their specific historical, cultural and performative contexts.

    Arya Madhavan brings together leading scholars from across the globe to make an exciting intervention into current debates around femininity and female representation on stage. This collection looks afresh at the often centuries-old aesthetic theories and acting conventions that have informed ideas of gender in Asian performance. It is divided into three parts:

    • erasure – the history of the presence and absence of female bodies on Asian stages;
    • intervention – the politics of female intervention into patriarchal performance genres;
    • reconstruction – the strategies and methods adopted by women in redefining their performance practice.

    Establishing a radical, culturally specific approach to addressing female performance-making, Women in Asian Performance is a must-read for scholars and students across Asian Studies and Performance Studies.


    Arya Madhavan



    The woman thing: issues and advances for women in Sundanese performance

    Kathy Foley

    Women in a man’s world: gender and power in Japanese noh theatre

    Barbara Geilhorn

    "Just like a woman": female impersonation, gender construction and role playing in Begum Barve

    Angelie Multani

    Feminist Asian cosmopolitanism in Singapore tango clubs

    Shzr Ee Tan

    Stars on the rise: the jingju actresses in Republican China

    Xing Fan



    Between roars and tears: towards the female kathakali

    Arya Madhavan

    "Ruined by several actresses who added lewd elements": the popularity of emerging actresses in Chinese jingju (Beijing opera) and the censorship of two plays

    Siyuan Liu

    Theatre of Kishida Rio: towards re-signification of "home" for women in Asia

    Nobuko Anan

    Foreign female interventions in traditional Asian arts: Rebecca Teele and Cristina Formaggia

    Margaret Coldiron

    An unexpected voice: performance, gender, and protecting tradition in Korean mask dance dramas

    CedarBough T. Saeji



    Rasatrialogue: the politics of the female body in Asian performance

    Sreenath Nair

    Nangiar kuthu: interference, intervention and inheritance

    Diane Daugherty

    Women in British Asian theatre

    Graham Ley


    Arya Madhavan is Senior Lecturer in Performing Arts at the University of Lincoln, UK, and a practising kutiyattam performer.