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date: 01 December 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter approaches dance archives and reenactment through analyses of the use of precious metals in drawings of dancers by the seventeenth-century French artist Daniel Rabel. Examining the artist’s album at the Louvre, Preston studies the visual effects of images and materials, testifying to French reimaginings of Indigenous performance practices in early seventeenth-century ballets in Paris. Turning to verse and livrets by René Bordier and Claude de l’Estoile, a founding member of the French Academy, she relates Rabel’s drawings to Andean dance, theater, and performance traditions in Cuzco, Peru. The Ballet de la Douairière de Billebahaut (1626) stages the Inca emperor Atahualpa (“Atabalipa”) as an effigy, satirizing Spanish colonial ambitions. Her approach situates global and trans-Atlantic circulations of performance in major works in the early archives of theatrical ballet in France, addressing reenactment through the work of spectatorship and its ties to archives of conquest.

Keywords: Atahualpa, Andes, ballet, colonialism, dance, France, Inca, performance, Daniel Rabel, Spain

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