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date: 23 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines the relationships between Chinese opera and dance in historical, Asian American, intercultural, and global contexts in the past two centuries. The integrated singing, dancing, and spectacle in Chinese opera are separated under the international gaze: while dancing and spectacle are highly prized, singing is satirized or completely ignored. The muted bodies of archaic and exotic dance and beautiful costume have become the norm to represent Chinese opera. With the sacrifice of temporal and aural existence, the silenced Orientalized dancing bodies have helped Chinese opera gain a spatial and visual co-existence with Western performing arts on the international stage. The chapter traces the development of dance and its relationship with theater in the Chinese context; interrogates the various Western “excuses” for silencing Chinese opera, such as logocentrism, ocularcentrism, xenophobia, and racial common sense; and analyzes the self-Orientalizing gesture to emphasize dance as survival strategies for Chinese opera.

Keywords: Chinese Opera, intercultural performance, logocentrism, ocularcentrism, xenophobia, Orientalism, globalization

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