Catalogue


Dance and the nation : performance, ritual, and politics in Sri Lanka /
Susan A. Reed.
imprint
Madison, Wis. : University of Wisconsin Press, c2010.
description
xv, 280 p. + 1 DVD (4 3/4 in.).
ISBN
029923164X (pbk. : alk. paper), 9780299231644 (pbk. : alk. paper)
format(s)
Book, DVD
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Madison, Wis. : University of Wisconsin Press, c2010.
isbn
029923164X (pbk. : alk. paper)
9780299231644 (pbk. : alk. paper)
catalogue key
7133487
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. 251-261) and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Susan A. Reed is a cultural anthropologist and director of the Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity, and Gender at Bucknell University.
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2011-03-01:
The relationship between expressive forms of culture--dance, music, theater, etc.--and identity formation is now well known in anthropology, other social sciences, and the humanities. Bucknell anthropologist Reed documents how Kandyan dance, celebrated as a symbol of "traditional Sinhala culture," becomes incorporated into the nationalist agendas of the Sri Lankan state in a state-sanctioned project of national identity formation. The monograph illustrates the revitalization effect such reinventions can have on the social lives involved in expressive forms of ethnic identity. It considers the parallel development of the notion of culture, as well as several associated themes of such modern projects--the notion of "folk," "traditional," "performance"--that have transformed Kandyan dance. Over the course of reinvention and revitalization, the genre has experienced a shift from being a male tradition to one that includes women, providing women with a source for cultural and social critique. The accompanying DVD allows readers to see all of this in action, providing crucial illustrative evidence of the points made throughout the text. The book and DVD together are appropriate for all audiences, scholarly and otherwise, and will be particularly useful for those interested in the historical articulations of the state and expressive culture in the Sri Lankan milieu. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All levels/libraries. S. Ferzacca University of Lethbridge
Reviews
Review Quotes
"One would be hard-pressed to find so detailed and well theorized an ethnographic study as this on the contingent conjunction in the political economy of a nation of aesthetic form, ritual content, and political substance that raises so many ethical questions of significant import. It is, indeed, a new chapter in the anthropology of dance."-E. Valentine Daniel, Columbia University
“One would be hard-pressed to find so detailed and well theorized an ethnographic study as this on the contingent conjunction in the political economy of a nation of aesthetic form, ritual content, and political substance that raises so many ethical questions of significant import. It is, indeed, a new chapter in the anthropology of dance.”-E. Valentine Daniel, Columbia University
" Dance and the Nationwill stand as a landmark contribution to dance ethnography and be regarded as an important text in South Asian studies as well as dance studies for many years to come."-Sally Ann Ness, University of California, Riverside
"Dance and the Nationwill stand as a landmark contribution to dance ethnography and be regarded as an important text in South Asian studies as well as dance studies for many years to come."-Sally Ann Ness, University of California, Riverside
“ Dance and the Nationwill stand as a landmark contribution to dance ethnography and be regarded as an important text in South Asian studies as well as dance studies for many years to come.”-Sally Ann Ness, University of California, Riverside
"A new chapter in the anthropology of dance."-E. Valentine Daniel, Columbia University
" Dance and the Nationis not only a significant contribution to Sri Lankan and South Asian studies but also to the literature of contemporary nationalism. The book is about 'dancing the nation,' that is, creating a national dance out of a purely local ritual performance. Susan Reed shows with insight and sympathy the consequences of this transformation for gender and caste identities and provides an important critical commentary on the larger processes of exclusion and inclusion in nation making."-Gananath Obeyesekere, Princeton University
"Dance and the Nationis not only a significant contribution to Sri Lankan and South Asian studies but also to the literature of contemporary nationalism. The book is about 'dancing the nation,' that is, creating a national dance out of a purely local ritual performance. Susan Reed shows with insight and sympathy the consequences of this transformation for gender and caste identities and provides an important critical commentary on the larger processes of exclusion and inclusion in nation making."-Gananath Obeyesekere, Princeton University
“ Dance and the Nationis not only a significant contribution to Sri Lankan and South Asian studies but also to the literature of contemporary nationalism. The book is about ‘dancing the nation,’ that is, creating a national dance out of a purely local ritual performance. Susan Reed shows with insight and sympathy the consequences of this transformation for gender and caste identities and provides an important critical commentary on the larger processes of exclusion and inclusion in nation making.”-Gananath Obeyesekere, Princeton University
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, March 2011
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Main Description
Around the globe, dances that originate in village, temple, and court rituals have been adapted and transformed to carry secular meanings and serve new national purposes. In stage performances, dance competitions, and festivals worldwide, dance has become an emblem of ethnicity and an index of national identity. But what are the “backstage” stories of those dances chosen to bear such meanings, and what have been the consequences for their communities of origin? In Dance and the Nation, Susan A. Reed brings to light the complexities of aesthetic politics in a multi-faceted exploration and analysis of Kandyan dance in Sri Lanka. As the national dance of Sri Lanka, Kandyan dance is identified with the majority Sinhala ethnic group and heavily supported by the state. Derived from the kohomba kankariya-an elaborate village ritual performed by men of the hereditary drummer caste-the dance was adopted by the state as a symbol of traditional Sinhala culture in the post-independence period. When state officials introduced the dance into the school curriculum, it was opened to individuals of all castes, and high-caste women have emerged as prominent teachers and performers. Reed’s evocative account traces the history and consequences of this transition from ritual to stage, situating the dance in relation to postcolonial nationalism and ethnic politics and emphasizing the voices and perspectives of the hereditary dancers and of women performers. Although Kandyan dance is related to other south Asian dance forms, it is unique, distinguished by an elegant, energetic style, and lively displays of acrobatics and agility. The companion DVD includes unparalleled footage of this vibrant dance in ritual, stage, and training contexts, and features the most esteemed performers of the Kandyan region.
Main Description
Around the globe, dances that originate in village, temple, and court rituals have been adapted and transformed to carry secular meanings and serve new national purposes. In stage performances, dance competitions, and festivals worldwide, dance has become an emblem of ethnicity and an index of national identity. But what are the "backstage" stories of those dances chosen to bear such meanings, and what have been the consequences for their communities of origin? InDance and the Nation, Susan A. Reed brings to light the complexities of aesthetic politics in a multi-faceted exploration and analysis of Kandyan dance in Sri Lanka. As the national dance of Sri Lanka, Kandyan dance is identified with the majority Sinhala ethnic group and heavily supported by the state. Derived from thekohomba kankariya-an elaborate village ritual performed by men of the hereditary drummer caste-the dance was adopted by the state as a symbol of traditional Sinhala culture in the post-independence period. When state officials introduced the dance into the school curriculum, it was opened to individuals of all castes, and high-caste women have emerged as prominent teachers and performers. Reed's evocative account traces the history and consequences of this transition from ritual to stage, situating the dance in relation to postcolonial nationalism and ethnic politics and emphasizing the voices and perspectives of the hereditary dancers and of women performers. Although Kandyan dance is related to other south Asian dance forms, it is unique, distinguished by an elegant, energetic style, and lively displays of acrobatics and agility. The companion DVD includes unparalleled footage of this vibrant dance in ritual, stage, and training contexts, and features the most esteemed performers of the Kandyan region.
Main Description
Around the globe, dances that originate in village, temple, and court rituals have been adapted and transformed to carry secular meanings and serve new national purposes. In stage performances, dance competitions, and festivals worldwide, dance has become an emblem of ethnicity and an index of national identity. But what are the "backstage" stories of those dances chosen to bear such meanings, and what have been the consequences for their communities of origin? Susan A. Reed brings to light the complexities of aesthetic politics in a multi-faceted exploration and analysis of Kandyan dance in Sri Lanka. As the national dance of Sri Lanka, Kandyan dance is identified with the majority Sinhala ethnic group and heavily supported by the state. Derived from thekohomba kankariya-an elaborate village ritual performed by men of the hereditary drummer caste-the dance was adopted by the state as a symbol of traditional Sinhala culture in the post-independence period, opening it to individuals of all castes. Reed's evocative account traces the history and consequences of this transition from ritual to stage, situating the dance in relation to postcolonial nationalism and ethnic politics and emphasizing the voices and perspectives of the hereditary dancers and of women performers.
Main Description
Around the globe, dances that originate in village, temple, and court rituals have been adapted and transformed to carry secular meanings and serve new national purposes. In stage performances, dance competitions, and festivals worldwide, dance has become an emblem of ethnicity and an index of national identity. But what are the "backstage" stories of those dances chosen to bear such meanings, and what have been the consequences for their communities of origin? In Dance and the Nation, Susan A. Reed brings to light the complexities of aesthetic politics in a multi-faceted exploration and analysis of Kandyan dance in Sri Lanka. As the national dance of Sri Lanka, Kandyan dance is identified with the majority Sinhala ethnic group and heavily supported by the state. Derived from the kohomba kankariya-an elaborate village ritual performed by men of the hereditary drummer caste-the dance was adopted by the state as a symbol of traditional Sinhala culture in the post-independence period. When state officials introduced the dance into the school curriculum, it was opened to individuals of all castes, and high-caste women have emerged as prominent teachers and performers. Reed's evocative account traces the history and consequences of this transition from ritual to stage, situating the dance in relation to postcolonial nationalism and ethnic politics and emphasizing the voices and perspectives of the hereditary dancers and of women performers. Although Kandyan dance is related to other south Asian dance forms, it is unique, distinguished by an elegant, energetic style, and lively displays of acrobatics and agility. The companion DVD includes unparalleled footage of this vibrant dance in ritual, stage, and training contexts, and features the most esteemed performers of the Kandyan region. Winner, Outstanding Publication, Congress on Research in Dance Special Citation book award, Society for Dance History Scholars
Main Description
Around the globe, dances that originate in village, temple, and court rituals have been adapted and transformed to carry secular meanings and serve new national purposes. In stage performances, dance competitions, and festivals worldwide, dance has become an emblem of ethnicity and an index of national identity. But what are the "backstage" stories of those dances, and what have been the consequences for their communities of origin? In Dance and the Nation, Susan A. Reed brings to light the complexities of aesthetic politics in a multi-faceted exploration and analysis of Kandyan dance in Sri Lanka. As the national dance of Sri Lanka, Kandyan dance is identified with the majority Sinhala ethnic group and heavily supported by the state. Derived from an elaborate village ritual performed by men of the hereditary drummer caste, the dance was adopted by the state as a symbol of traditional Sinhala culture in the post-independence period and opened to individuals of all castes. Reed's evocative account traces the history and consequences of this transition from ritual to stage, situating the dance in relation to postcolonial nationalism and ethnic politics and emphasizing the voices and perspectives of the hereditary dancers and of women performers.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrationsp. ix
Acknowledgmentsp. xi
Note on Transliteration and Usagep. xv
Introductionp. 3
Kohomba Kankariya as Village Ritualp. 23
Performers, Patrons, Dancep. 74
A History of Kandyan Dance, 1875-1948p. 96
Dance, Ethnicity, and the Statep. 128
Performing the Nation: The Berava and Kandyan Dancep. 151
Kohomba Kankariya as Spectaclep. 174
Between Purity and Respectability: Sinhala Women and Kandyan Dancep. 198
Contents of DVDp. 219
Criteria for Grading of Kalayatanayasp. 221
Kohomba Kankariyas Observed, 1987-1988p. 223
Glossaryp. 225
Notesp. 227
Referencesp. 251
Indexp. 263
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

This information is provided by a service that aggregates data from review sources and other sources that are often consulted by libraries, and readers. The University does not edit this information and merely includes it as a convenience for users. It does not warrant that reviews are accurate. As with any review users should approach reviews critically and where deemed necessary should consult multiple review sources. Any concerns or questions about particular reviews should be directed to the reviewer and/or publisher.

  link to old catalogue

Report a problem