From Vaudeville to Bodabil: Vaudeville in the Philippines

San Juan, Carolina de Leon (2010) From Vaudeville to Bodabil: Vaudeville in the Philippines. Doctoral thesis, University of California, Los Angeles.

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Since the United States took possession of the Philippines in 1898, American entertainment has shaped much of Filipino popular culture. One example of this influence can be seen in Philippine Vaudeville, or Bodabil (from the Filipino pronunciation of 'Vaudeville'). My project introduces Bodabil to American scholarship by providing a historical account of Vaudeville's arrival in the Philippines during the turn of the 20th century, and its subsequent influence on Philippine contemporary theatre, cinema, radio and television. While early Bodabil seems to parallel American Vaudeville's history, important distinctions must be made. Whereas Vaudeville grew out of European variety, music hall and vaux de ville (in tandem with Minstrelsy that was based on white Americans ridiculing black Americans), Bodabil's roots are based in western cultural imperialism functioning on a foreign site with its own rich history and values regarding performance and mimicry Many Vaudeville traits can be seen in Bodabil yet Bodabil serves a specific function in Philippine society as a barometer and tool against oppression. Censorship often communicated to audiences that their liberty was in danger and Bodabil shows provided the means for audiences to theorize and communicate their experience with one another. By focusing on a transplanted African American performance genre as a site for analysis, I have set the stage for research into a complex and under-theorized performance genre that provides the means for citizens to ignite and sustain movements against oppressive regimes.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: American colonial rule, bodabil, theatre, theatre history, vaudeville
Depositing User: Machine Whisperer
Date Deposited: 15 Jun 2017 06:01
Last Modified: 15 Jun 2017 06:01

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