In his introduction to Culture and Imperialism, Edward Said lays to rest my fears of political incorrectness and of being orientalist in my teaching and research of Asian as well as European theatre practices and proto-theatrical forms. Said empowers me by locating my nationality (Irish) and the locus of my vision of the Orient in the very realm of the Orient: amongst the colonized peoples of the world. Theatre historians in recent years have embraced Said's modernist dichotomies of Orientalism, and mistakenly divided the theatrical manifestation of culture into West/East, first world/third world, bad/good, colonizers/colonized. The simplicity of such binary opposites consequently denounces and sanctifies. The politics of culture, however, is a much more complex affair. Modern Irish theatre, for example, contemporaneous with social struggle and revolution, is lauded by Said as a strategy of resistance against cultural imperialism. In Asia the resurrection of pre-colonial dance forms and folk traditions is similarly seen as a cultural assertion of independence. Conversely fin de siècle European theatre divorced from its formalist, societal and religious origins has looked to the oriental theatres for inspiration. In the same mistaken paradigm à la Said, this is branded as eclectic purloining of the surface of foreign cultures of the third world, a colonial plundering disguised as aesthetic pursuit.