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Performance and Cosmopolitics

Cross-Cultural Transactions in Australasia

Performance and Cosmopolitics by Helen Gilbert
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Performance and Cosmopolitics is a pioneering study of cross-cultural theatre in the Australasian region, positioned within the broader context of a global performing arts market and continued international interest in the traditions and aesthetics of non-Western cultures. Gilbert and Lo deploy the concept of cosmopolitanism as a unique window into mainstream, avant-garde and community arts practices ranging from the 1850s to the present day. Arguing that indigenization and Asianization have constituted key strategies for forging Australian theatre's current cosmopolitan credentials, the book maps the history and impact of these processes and features detailed case studies to draw out their aesthetic, commercial, political and ethical dimensons.

While this study is grounded in a specific regional history and politics, it also serves as a paradigmatic study of cross-cultural arts transactions. By focusing on theatre's particular traditions of corporeality and presence, Performance and Cosmopolitics challenges some of the foundational principles of cosmopolitanism and asserts that its claim to a 'disinterested' global citizenship falters when confronted with the realpolitik of bodily praxis.
Palgrave Macmillan; June 2009
256 pages; ISBN 9780230273924
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Title: Performance and Cosmopolitics
Author: Helen Gilbert; Jacqueline Lo