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Embodied Communities: Dance Traditions and Change in Java
Volume 2

Dance and Performance Studies

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Embodied Communities

Dance Traditions and Change in Java

Felicia Hughes-Freeland

304 pages, 30 illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-84545-521-7 $135.00/£99.00 / Hb / Published (November 2008)

ISBN  978-1-84545-238-4 $34.95/£27.95 / Pb / Published (November 2010)

eISBN 978-1-84545-868-3 eBook


View CartYour country: - edit Buy the eBook from these vendorsRequest a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format)Recommend to your LibraryAvailable in GOBI®


Even if it is rather demanding, Hughes-Freeland’s study makes for highly rewarding reading.  ·  JRAI

The book is carefully constructed…we can learn a lot from it [which] may well be due to its robust empiricism.”  ·  Social Anthropology/Anthropologie sociale

“This book attempts a much more comprehensive consideration of dance in its cultural, social, and historical contexts than most and the author should be commended not only for this ambitious approach but also for keeping ethnographic method as the foundation of the research… the world of dance scholarship, anthropology, performance studies, and Indonesian studies are the better for this book which is, in important ways, remarkable."  ·  American Ethnologist

"This is a valuable addition to the literature on performance in Southeast Asia, on dance history, and on culture change in general … a very timely and important work … the quality of its prose, the depth of research involved make it a unique contribution to dance scholarship."  ·  Hélène Bouvier, CNRS, Paris


Court dance in Java has changed from a colonial ceremonial tradition into a national artistic classicism. Central to this general transformation has been dance’s role in personal transformation, developing appropriate forms of everyday behaviour and strengthening the powers of persuasion that come from the skillful manipulation of both physical and verbal forms of politeness. This account of dance’s significance in performance and in everyday life draws on extensive research, including dance training in Java, and builds on how practitioners interpret and explain the repertoire. The Javanese case is contextualized in relation to social values, religion, philosophy, and commoditization arising from tourism. It also raises fundamental questions about the theorization of culture, society and the body during a period of radical change.

Felicia Hughes-Freeland is an anthropologist and filmmaker. She is a Reader in Anthropology, Dept of Geography, School of the Environment and Society, Swansea University. She has done extensive research in Indonesia on Javanese dance over a period of nearly thirty years and her articles have been widely published. Her edited books and ethnographic films include Ritual, Performance, Media and The Dancer and the Dance.

Subject: Performance StudiesAnthropology (General)
Area: Asia-Pacific


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