Dancing for the Dead
DOI link for Dancing for the Dead
Dancing for the Dead book
The fi eld of intercultural theatre, as noted by many in this collection, has a long history of both artistic innovation and cultural exploitation. The practice of intercultural theatre has been critiqued for its colonialist tendencies and the perpetuation of uneven power relations between the West and the rest. Conventional theorizing of intercultural theatre tends to assume that the participating cultural traditions are somehow ‘fi xed,’ at least at the point of cultural exchange. For Erika Fischer-Lichte, the concept of interweaving serves to redress the assumption of cultural fi xity and the myth of a level playing fi eld between performing cultures.1 In this chapter, I wish to use the concept of interweaving to further challenge the normative assumption that ‘newness’ in the form of identity, knowledge, and/or culture comes into being through the act of crossing performance traditions. I contend that the will-to-power of ‘newness’ is related to the postmodern preoccupation with a kind of presentism that underlies an inability to engage with the darker dimensions of history. My study of the concept of interweaving seeks to explore the capacity of performance to make visible the interconnectedness of di erent strands of racialized history within a political context that continues to deny aspects of the traumatic past.