Corporeal Politics: Dancing East Asia


Cover Design Final

Editor: Katherine Mezure

Editor: Emily Wilcox

In Corporeal Politics, leading international scholars investigate the development of dance as a deeply meaningful and complex cultural practice across time, placing special focus on the intertwining of East Asia dance and politics and the role of dance as a medium of transcultural interaction and communication across borders. Countering common narratives of dance history that emphasize the US and Europe as centers of origin and innovation, the expansive creativity of dance artists in East Asia asserts its importance as a site of critical theorization and reflection on global artistic developments in the performing arts.

Through the lens of “corporeal politics”—the close attention to bodily acts in specific cultural contexts—each study in this book challenges existing dance and theater histories to re-investigate the performer’s role in devising the politics and aesthetics of their performance, as well as the multidimensional impact of their lives and artistic works. Corporeal Politics addresses a wide range of performance styles and genres, including dances produced for the concert stage, as well as those presented in popular entertainments, private performance spaces, and street protests.

“Makes significant contributions to dance studies by adding in-depth studies of choreographers, dance forms, and dancers largely missing from the Anglophone literature. It makes significant contributions to Asian and area studies with its close attention to bodies and movement and the knowledge produced by both. Simply put, there is nothing else like this book available.”
—Rosemary Candelario, Texas Woman’s University