By Stavros Stavrou Karayanni
all through centuries of eu colonial domination, the our bodies of center jap dancers, female and male, circulate sumptuously and seductively around the pages of Western go back and forth journals, evoking hope and derision, admiration and disdain, attract and revulsion. This profound ambivalence types the axis of an research into center japanese dance—an research that extends to modern abdominal dance.
Stavros Stavrou Karayanni, via historic research, theoretical research, and private mirrored image, explores how center japanese dance actively engages race, intercourse, and nationwide id. shut readings of colonial commute narratives, an exam of Oscar Wilde’s Salome, and analyses of treatises approximately Greek dance, show the complex ways that this arguable dance has been formed through Eurocentric versions that outline and regulate identification functionality.
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Additional info for Dancing Fear and Desire: Race, Sexuality, and Imperial Politics in Middle Eastern Dance (Cultural Studies)
Shohat calls for historical, geopolitical, and cultural interrogation and contextualization of the postcolonial, since “each frame illuminates only partial aspects of systemic modes of domination, of overlapping collective identities, and of contemporary global relations” (138). In my usage, I assign neocolonial to the recent dominating attitudes prevalent in systems but also in individuals who succumb to superpower ideologies. As for the postcolonial, I have never experienced it, since, as a citizen of Cyprus, I have never moved beyond the post of colonialism.
In the words of Ania Loomba, such constructs demonstrate that “religious difference thus became (often rather confusedly) an index of and metaphor for racial, cultural and ethnic differences” (106). Indeed, the construction of the ugly Turk was concomitant with Islam as the religion of the infidel. And all these religious and cultural prejudices, vivid in the Greek Cypriot imaginary, found expression through sexuality. Certain narratives that strengthened stereotypes became the subject of popular folklore that served as undeniable reminders of Turkish penetration into Greek honour.
My efforts, however, do not aspire to unearth pristine, unspoiled forms of dance or arcane kinesthetic texts that await discovery. I mean to decolonize, following Marta Savigliano’s assertion that “decolonization means rejecting the search for the origins and authenticity of the colonized in order to concentrate on the specific, original, and authentic ways in which imperialism operates” (9). There is no tsifteteli to perform that is not colonized. I do not seek to emulate a quest for origins and authenticity (such a search is Dora Stratou’s main concern as I discuss Performing Theory 20 Introducing Colonial and Postcolonial Dialectics on the Subject of Dance in the final chapter), and I cannot refurbish an unspoiled or “authentic” rendition of this dance.