250 BOOK REVIEWS WORLD DANCE CULTURES: FROM RITUAL TO SPECTACLE. By Patricia Leigh Beaman. New York: Routledge, 2018. 289 + xx pp. Cloth, $135; Paperback, $49.95; eBook, $24.98. World Dance Cultures: From Ritual to Spectacle is the first monograph by Patricia Leigh Beaman, artist-in-residence at Wesleyan University and visiting associate artist at New York University’s Tisch Department of Dance. With a focus on non-Western cultural traditions,Beamanpresents a rich set of introductory materials on twenty-seven dance cultures. Though written as an undergraduate textbook, World Dance Cultures, with its accessible language and carefully chosen illustrations, also appeals to general readers. Given that more than half of the dance cultures featured in the text originate in Asia and the Pacific islands, the book can also serve as a starting point of research for Asian performance scholars. Beaman does not uphold a rigid definition of dance when choosing what to include in the book. In the introduction, Beaman elucidates her selection criteria as “the fragility of cultural traditions, and in some heartening instances, their resilience, is an important theme throughout this introductory textbook, which delves into the historical, political, economic, and artistic factors that shaped both these cultures and their dances” (p. xviiii).
Asian Theatre Journal – University of Hawai'I Press
Published: Mar 13, 2019
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