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Ruptures Within and Without: Pageantry – A Work in Progress by Denise Uyehara and Sri Susilowati


‘Ruptures Within and Without’ analyses Pageantry, performed by Asian women local to the Actions of Transfer conference site, for the ways in which the performance insists on opening up and interrogating the place (or displacement) of Asians in the Americas.

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1 After the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor in December 1941, President Franklin Roosevelt quickly issued Executive Order 9066, to relocate Japanese Americans (people of enemy ancestry) on the West Coast of the mainland US. About 120,000 Japanese Americans were moved to hastily constructed relocation centers in isolated or undeveloped inland areas. ‘Military necessity’ was the justification for the relocation programme.

2 In the post-show discussion, Susilowati speaks of the strict censorship of women's bodies in Indonesia. Women are asked to ‘cover up’ while dancing, despite folk traditions sometimes requiring bare-chested dancers. Sensual movements, such as swaying the hips in an exaggerated manner, therefore become a means of protest and a celebration of women's sexuality.

3 Robert Lee, G., Orientals (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1999), p. 85.

4 All interned Japanese men had to answer these two questions. Question 27: Are you willing to serve in the armed forces of the United States on combat duty, wherever ordered? Question 28: Will you swear unqualified allegiance to the United States of America and faithfully defend the United States from any and all attack by foreign or domestic forces, and forswear any form of allegiance to the Japanese Emperor or any other foreign government, power, or organization? A ‘no’ to either or both questions risked separation from family members and then deportation.

5 Wong's, Yutian ‘Utopias: Michio Ito and the Trope of the International’, in Foster, Susan Leigh, ed., Wording Dance (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009), pp. 144–62, is a valuable scholarly attempt to recover the legacy of Ito and to discuss his (in)visibility as an international artist.

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Theatre Research International
  • ISSN: 0307-8833
  • EISSN: 1474-0672
  • URL: /core/journals/theatre-research-international
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