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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.
When Harley Granville Barker was invited to stage a theatre season in New York following the outbreak of the First World War, senior figures within British politics seized on it as an opportunity to promote the British war effort in the United States. It was, however, Barker's impromptu decision to extend his stay and tour Euripides’ The Trojan Women to major colleges on the East Coast that saw him come close to realizing this goal. Through an examination of the production, the discourse that surrounded it, and the changing diplomatic relations between Britain and the USA, Philippa Burt explores in this article the extent to which Barker used Euripides as a propaganda tool through which to engage and educate the largely isolationist North American public. At the same time, she argues that Barker challenged the propaganda machine by refusing to perpetuate the dominant nationalistic and xenophobic narratives and, instead, intended a condemnation of all war. Philippa Burt is a lecturer in the Department of Theatre and Performance at Goldsmiths, University of London. Her previous publications include numerous articles and a chapter on Barker's work with choruses in the forthcoming The Great European Stage Directors, Vol. 4: Reinhardt, Jessner, Barker (Bloomsbury Methuen).
Serafima Birman was an actress of the Moscow Art Theatre who worked in the First Studio and Second Moscow Art Theatre throughout the revolutionary and civil war period (1910s–1920s) and went on to have a distinguished career as a performer, teacher, and director in Stalinist and post-Stalinist USSR (1920s–1970s). In this article Rose Whyman investigates her artistic and cultural contribution in the development of the Stanislavsky System and of her approach to acting, working alongside Vakhtangov, Michael Chekhov, and influenced by Meyerhold and other artists of the avant-garde. She was the first female director at the theatre, continued to act and direct in Soviet theatres, and worked in film, notably with Eisenstein on Ivan the Terrible. The development of her career required great determination and necessitated making theatrical and political choices in order to survive and maintain the artistic principles on which her work was based. Rose Whyman is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Drama and Theatre Arts at the University of Birmingham and is the author of The Stanislavsky System of Acting (Cambridge, 2008) and Stanislavsky: the Basics (Routledge, 2013).
In this article Bernard Ince surveys and critically examines for the first time the bizarre phenomenon known as the ‘Monkey Drama’ in the British theatre. A genre of early origin, pre-dating the age of Darwinism, it is to be found in all areas of entertainment, especially during the nineteenth century when the quintessential characteristics of simian mimicry were established. Commonly juxtaposed with the legitimate drama in afterpieces, ‘man-monkey’ spectacles not only blurred conventional man–beast boundaries, but also challenged prevailing conceptions of theatrical legitimacy. The genre attracted myriad performers of varied origins and specialisms, whose ability to mimic simian characteristics stemmed not only from agility and flexibility, but also from careful study of the ‘monkey tribe’ itself. While some familiar names figure among the roll-call of simian impersonators, many artists are little known. Although difficult to quantify precisely, the genre had reached its zenith before the middle of the nineteenth century, the 1820s through the 1840s being a significant formative period. After mid-century, popularity was maintained, but to a lesser degree, largely through pantomime, only to decline significantly after 1900. In a broader context, the study furnishes new material for current interdisciplinary debates regarding the relationship between performance, evolution and visual culture in the Victorian period. Bernard Ince is an independent theatre historian who has contributed earlier studies of the Victorian and Edwardian theatre to New Theatre Quarterly.
A recent study of single-ticket buyers and subscribers at a major regional theatre – Actors Theatre of Louisville, Kentucky – focused on measuring quantitatively the psychological benefits of engaging with theatre and gathering qualitatively observations by focus groups. Both confirmed the hypothesis that regular attendance promotes flourishing and meaningful social interaction, psychological stimulation, and positive emotions. The study also affirms that attending theatre contributes to a shared sense of community, this at a time when such community appears starkly diminished in the United States. In addition, focus groups wished that audiences better reflected the demographic diversity outside the auditorium. Evident disparities include urban vs. rural, prosperous vs. not, more education vs. less, black vs. white – reflecting those that splinter national politics. One microcosm of one theatre's audience provokes suggestions to foster a more democratic audience and plural istic culture that endeavours to cross rather than ignore the divides. Russell Vandenbroucke is Professor of Theatre at the University of Louisville and Director of its Peace, Justice & Con flict Transformation programme. He was previously Artistic Director of Chicago's Northlight Theatre. Suzanne Meeks is Professor and Chair of the Psychological and Brain Sciences Department, University of Louisville. Her research focuses on mental health in later life.
By examining William Hatchett's The Chinese Orphan alongside The Fall of Mortimer, in this article Jina Moon aims to expand our critical awareness of Hatchett's oeuvre and to deepen our understanding of the shifting contours of misogyny as an integral component of eighteenth-century political discourse. The Fall of Mortimer differs from other sources of anti-Walpole propaganda, offering pointedly acrimonious treatment not only of Walpole, but of Queen Caroline. The Chinese Orphan was published in February 1741, two months before the election of that year dealt the final blow to Walpole's career. The play reflects shifting attitudes towards women in power and the contemporary tendency to contrast the ambitious and political Caroline with submissive and domestic Princess Augusta. To examine Hatchett's work is to gain new insight into the ways in which authors adapted both to the restrictions of the Licensing Act and to the shifting political climate of the 1740s. Jina Moon received her Ph.D. in English from the University of Tulsa (2015). Her study of Domestic Violence in Victorian and Edwardian Fiction appeared from Cambridge Scholars Publishing in 2016.