Contesting the Narratives: Identity, Representation and Performance in Filipino Folk Dance

Patrick, Declan (2010) Contesting the Narratives: Identity, Representation and Performance in Filipino Folk Dance. Doctoral thesis, Manchester Metropolitan University.

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While artistic director at Filipinescas, a folk-ballet dance company in the Philippines, I had the opportunity to start investigating Filipino folk dance. The questions I asked were the sort of questions that could only have come from a foreigner, and furthermore, a foreigner who was unfamiliar with the workings of Philippine dance. My own involvement as a choreographer required an understanding of the context of the company and dancers. This started a process of questioning that has continued through to Contesting the Narratives; a practice-as-research project. The functional approach I started with in this research has revealed a variety of uses that Filipino dance is put to. This includes uses as a social control, as an object for projecting desires, as a forum to decide how Filipinos view themselves and their ‘Other’ as well as a tool for group identity aspirations. These functions have, in turn, given me a selection of research focuses with which to investigate using my practice. The dances I have selected claim to represent something ‘essential’ about Filipinos. Through working with English dancers, and in an English context, I have questioned ideas of authenticity, authority and identity in Filipino folk dance. The results have shown all these to be unstable concepts. I have identified the ‘meta-narrative’ of Filipino folk dance and interrogated the roles assigned to both Filipino and foreigner, finding these roles to be malleable. The relationship between the dances and their context has been illuminated through rehearsals and performance, revealing connections between dancers, the dance and context.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: dance, dance criticism, Filipinescas Dance Company, folk dance, identity
Depositing User: Machine Whisperer
Date Deposited: 15 Jun 2017 05:56
Last Modified: 15 Jun 2017 05:56

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