Dance in ninth century Java. A methodology for the analysis and reconstitution of the dance
Lopez y Royo, Alessandra
This short essay presents a case study – that of the dance reliefs of the Prambanan complex in Central Java, aiming to steer the discussion around an important aspect of any archaeological investigation of dance. Rather than focusing solely on contextual issues, such as the nature and function of dance at a particular point in time and in a specific socio-cultural context, the Prambanan case study questions how to engage with the archaeological dance record from a dancer’s point of view, in other words in terms of movement reconstitution and its re-embodiment. It is almost tautological to say that dance is practice based and performance oriented. However it is often the case that it is precisely this aspect of dance which is neglected in archaeological accounts and no methodologies are being developed to deal with such issues. My work on the Prambanan dance reliefs attempts to bridge this gap.
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