CHOREOGRAPHING ASIAN AMERICA. By Yutian Wong. Middletown: Wesleyan University Press, 2010. Paper, $27.95. The opening sentence of Yutian Wong's introduction to Choreographing Asian America, "Can you name an Asian American choreographer?" suggests that the author is embarking on a narrative overview of preeminent Asian American choreographers who emerged from America's modern dance movement-- Yuriko, Mel Wong, Ruby Shang, H. T. Chen, Eleanor Yung, Peggy Choi, and Maura Nguyen Donohue. However, Wong, a professor of dance at San Francisco State University, has a different and more nuanced objective than recounting names, dates, and titles of dance pieces created by American dancers of East Asian descent. Acknowledging that historical treatments of Asian American theatre ensembles focusing on predominantly text-based works have been thoroughly chronicled by fellow scholars Yuko Kurahashi (Asian American Culture Onstage, 1999) and Esther Lee Kim (A History of Asian American Theatre, 2006), Wong posits instead that Asian American dance, historically and currently relegated to the margins of the margins of academic inquiry, is fundamentally worthy of serious scholarly consideration as self-conscious acts of political resistance. She therefore eschews considering "the lineage of form[s]" to focus instead on "the politics of representation" (p. 223), that is, sociopolitical implications
Asian Theatre Journal – University of Hawai'I Press
Published: Jul 11, 2012
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