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How Does the Billy-Goat Produce Milk? Sergei Eisenstein's Reconstitution of Kabuki Theatre

  • Min Tian

Abstract

Through a close examination of Eisenstein's writings on the Kabuki theatre, Min Tian demonstrates in this article that Eisenstein's interpretation of Kabuki from the perspective of his theory displaced the techniques and principles of Kabuki theatre from its historical and aesthetic contexts. Predicated upon his ‘montage thinking’, Eisenstein reconstituted the techniques and principles integral to Kabuki as an organic whole in the context of his evolving and synthesizing theory. Min Tian has a PhD in theatre history from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a doctorate at the Central Academy of Drama in Beijing. Currently teaching at the University of Iowa, he is the author of Mei Lanfang and the Twentieth-Century International Stage (2012) and The Poetics of Difference and Displacement: Twentieth-Century Chinese–Western Intercultural Theatre (2008), and editor of China's Greatest Operatic Male Actor of Female Roles: Documenting the Life and Art of Mei Lanfang, 1894–1961 (2010).

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How Does the Billy-Goat Produce Milk? Sergei Eisenstein's Reconstitution of Kabuki Theatre

  • Min Tian

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