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Being Carmen: Cutting Pathways towards Female Androgyny in Japan and India

  • Catherine Diamond

Extract

In this article Catherine Diamond examines the flows of transcultural hybridity occurring in dance between Spanish flamencos, Japanese exponents of flamenco, and Indian dancers interacting with flamenco within their classical dance forms. Japan and India represent two distinct Asian reactions to the phenomenon of global flamenco: the Japanese have adopted it wholesale and compete with the Spanish on their own ground; the Indians claim that as the Roma (gypsy) people originated in India, the country is also the home of flamenco. Despite their differing attitudes, flamenco dance offers women in both cultures a pathway toward participating in an internal androgyny, a wider spectrum of gender representation than either the Asian traditional dance or contemporary Asian society normally allows. Catherine Diamond is a professor of theatre and environmental literature. She is Director of the Kinnari Ecological Theatre Project in Southeast Asia, and the director/choreographer of Red Shoes Dance Theatre in Taiwan.

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