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BAHAR Seminar, Thursday May 26, 2011: Yolanda van Ede

On Thursday May 26, 2011, Yolanda van Ede (University of Amsterdam) will present a seminar to the Body, Health and Religion Research Group (BAHAR). The topic will be, ‘Stomping Ground: Modern Female Bodies and Flamenco in Tokyo’. The seminar will take place in Humanities Building, Room 4.45, Cardiff University, from 4.30 to 6 p.m. All welcome. Note the change from our usual room.

Yolanda introduces her seminar as follows: “This presentation addresses the complex interactions between localization and globalization through bodily practices in the context of “Japamenco,” Japanese flamenco. Spanish Flamenco has gained immense popularity in Japan, especially among women. A highly gendered phenomenon, Japanese appropriation of flamenco represents an embodiment of certain imageries and representations of modern, cosmopolitan femininity. In search of a new self Japanese flamenco dancers opt for sensory orientations that run against hegemonic Japanese aesthetics of femininity, local meanings and practices. A comparison of Japanese flamenco dancing with Spanish flamenco highlights ‘Japamenco’’s emphasis on the dancer’s footwork: that is its amplification, but not as a rhythmic contribution to the musicality of the performance as in Spanish flamenco. However, as ‘Japamenco’ is embedded in both global developments whereby flamenco has become more of a spectacle and adjusted to the dominant sense of sight in Japanese culture, there are contextual differences between sight and sound. Who is allowed to be heard and who but to be seen, demarcates clear lines between backstage and frontstage, between women’s private worlds of the studio and the stage as a male dominated public sphere, and on stage between the women dancers representing internal power relations and hierarchies of cosmopolitan selves.”

Yolanda van Ede is Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, University of Amsterdam, and a long-standing member of BAHAR. The present seminar derives from her ongoing research on falmenco dance in Japan.

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