Eurasian Theatre. Drama and Performance Between East and
West from Classical Antiquity to the Present
Translated from the Italian by Richard Fowler, Updated
version revised and edited by Vicki Ann Cremona. Published by
Icarus Publishing Enterprise, Holstebro - Malta - Wroclaw, 2010,
The distances that separate East from West - the two extremes of
the Eurasian continent - are enormous. Yet, since ancient times,
the people of Europe and Asia have tried to overcome this
remoteness through a network of trade routes known as the Silk
Road. The great migrations, the continuous military conquests and
the paths relentlessly opened up by merchants have been at the
origin of ideological, technical and artistic exchanges, resulting
in a fusion of cultures. Among the ceaseless travellers on the
routes of the Silk Road, along with soldiers, merchants,
messengers, and pilgrims, we find those who earned their living as
jugglers, acrobats, musicians, actors and dancers. They were people
who brought with them, rooted in their bodies, their own techniques
and histories. Through these performers, the 'fabulous and
mysterious Orient' has exerted an ongoing influence on the art of
the theatre in Europe and America. In the same way, especially in
modern times, actors and dancers from India, China, Japan, and
other Asian countries have drawn inspiration from Western dramatic
genres for a renewal of their ancient traditions. A long history of
travelling actors moving between East and West has slowly taken
shape, and lies at the foundation of our contemporary, professional
performative arts. This updated and revised edition of Drama and
Performance Between East and West (first published in 1992), traces
this history from classical antiquity to the present. The book
constitutes the first complete in-depth historiographic inquiry
into the subject.
Preface, by Vicki Ann Cremona; by Nicola Savarese - I. THE
'MASCHERA' OF MARCO POLO. The Exotic Myth of Asia from Antiquity to
the Renaissance - 1. Asia in Tragedy - 2. Alexander's Dream -
3. Rome looks to the Orient - 4. Mimes and Pantomimes in Rome - 5.
Byzantine Interludes - 6. Jugglers in the Han Court - 7. Tang
Exoticism - 8. The Students from the Pear Garden - 9. The Fabulous
Asia of the Middle Ages - 10. Tartar Clothing for Marco Polo - 11.
Morris Dances and Moorish Figures - 12. Theatre in the Court of the
Great Khan - 13. Danses Macabres - 14. Byzantine Crossroads - 15.
From Constantinople to Istanbul - 16. Costumes from Far--off
Countries - 17. The Moor of Venice - 18. The Prisons of Algiers
- II. THE SAVAGE HARLEQUIN - Oriental Exoticism in European
Theatre between the Sixteenth and Eighteenth Centuries - 1.
After the Pepper, the Souls: the Jesuits in Asia - 2. False
Brahmins - 3. Christian Indians and Japanese Martyrs - 4. Local
Colour - 5. Amorous Turks and Gallant Moors - 6. The Fake Turk - 7.
In the Name of the Orient - 8. The Turkish March - 9. Persian Wives
and Indian Widows - 10. Arlequin Sauvage - 11. The Silent Merchants
- 12. Idle and Vile Profession - 13. The Chinese Fashion - 14.
Chinese Shadows - 15. A Fundamental Misunderstanding - 16. The
Translations of a Chinese Drama - 17. Voltaire's Edifying Orient -
18. L'Orphelin de la Chine - III. THE REINCARNATION OF
SAKUNTALA - Oriental Theatres Between the Enlightenment and
Romanticism - 1. The Beginnings of Orientalism - 2. Sakuntala in
Europe - 3. Gautier's Ballet - 4. English Entertainments in London
- 5. William Jones and His Twenty--Eight Tongues - 6. Sir William
Discovers Sakuntala - 7. Theatres in India - 8. English
Entertainments in Calcutta - 9. The Playhouse - 10. Mrs. Bristow's
Little Theatre - 11. Mr. Lebedev's Theatre - 12. Philology and
Anthropology - 13. The Theatres of Bengal - 14. A Street Theatre -
15. The Dances of the Bayaderes - 16. Romanticism and Orientalism -
17. In Search of Origins - 18. The Little Clay Cart - IV. AN
EMBLEMATIC PLAY OF MIRRORS - Sada Yacco and Kawakami travel to the
West - 1. A Parade on Broadway - 2. Kawakami Otojiro's
American Tour - 3. The Paris Exposition Universelle of 1900 - 4.
Sada Yacco at the Exhibition - 5. Golden Silk and Flames - 6. A
Free Child - 7. The Students' Theatre - 8. From Politics to Theatre
- 9. Theatre Artists - 10. The Development of the New Wave - 11.
The Second European Tour - 12. The Garden of the Ten Thousand Pine
Trees - 13. Kawakami's Last Journey - 14. Sada Yacco Retires from
the Stage - 15. Three Continents - 16. The Authority of Apparent
Experience - 17. The Science of Theatre - 18. Spider webs - V.
THE MOBILE ACADEMY - Little Crossroads at the Dawn of the Twentieth
Century - 1. A Lantern and a Bell - 2. The Discovery of Hanako
- 3. The Various Talents of an Impresario - 4. Hanako Discovers She
is an Actress - 5. Cambodian Dances - 6. Rodin's Last Works - 7.
Rodin and the New Dance - 8. The King of Cambodia's Dancers - 9.
The Great Resources - 10. Pioneers of the Rules - 11. The
Rediscovered Dance - 12. Hanako Meets Rodin - 13. The Artist and
the Model - 14. Passages - 15. The Dance of Shiva - 16. Hanako's
Travels - 17. Some Notes on Realism in the Arts - 18. Provisional
Conclusions - VI. THE TRADITION OF DIFFERENCE - Myth and
History of Oriental Theatres in the Twentieth Century - 1. The
Dialectic of Exoticism - 2. More About the World Exhibitions - 3.
Attractions Large and Small - 4. Javanese Shadows - 5. Marionettes
on the Banks of the Ganges - 6. The Invention of Tradition - 7. The
Destinies of nô - 8. At the Hawk's Well - 9. Zeami's
writings - 10. The Magic Pillow - 11. Kabuki in Pigalle - 12.
Artaud Sees Balinese Theatre - 13. Stylization or Biomechanics? -
14. Hear the Movement, See the Sound - 15. Wind from the East - 16.
The Lesson of the Far East - 17. To Heal a Wound - 18. Borderless
Performances - Bibliography Index
(born in Rome, in 1945) is a member of the scientific staff of
ISTA, the International School of Theatre Anthropology founded in
1980 by Eugenio Barba. He was professor of Performing Arts at the
Universities of La Sapienza (Rome), Lecce, Bologna, and Roma Tre.
He has also lectured at the Universities of Kyoto, Montreal, and
Sorbonne III. He has travelled widely in Asia and particularly in
Japan, where he lived for two years. His research and publications
focus mainly on the complex dynamics of the encounters between
Asian and Western theatres. His books include, among
others: Il teatro al di la' del mare (The Theatre
beyond the sea, 1980), Parigi/Artaud/Bali (1997) and,
in collaboration with Eugenio Barba, A Dictionary of
Theatre Anthropology. The Secret Art of the
Performer (1997) that has been translated into many languages.
His research on classical Roman theatre, and in particular on the
body-techniques of ancient pantomimes, gave rise to an exhibition
inside the Colosseum in Rome (In Scaena Catalogue, 2007).
He is also editor of the journals Teatro e Storia
and Dyonisus ex machina. (www.nicolasavarese.it)