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Communities of ImaginationContemporary Southeast Asian Theatres$
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Catherine Diamond

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780824835842

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824835842.001.0001

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Dancing with the Censors

Dancing with the Censors

Burmese Performing Arts Keep Time

Chapter 6 Dancing with the Censors
Communities of Imagination

Catherine Diamond

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter focuses on Burmese performing arts and how the artists find themselves in a quandary between engagement with the flow of international art and the preservation of local traditions. The former is complicated by the fact that much of the contemporary artists' international prestige is based on Western hostility toward the current regime. The latter is equally complicated not only by a growing generation gap that rejects tradition, but also because of the upholding of Burmese cultural heritage against global intrusion. Regardless of whether they dance facing the generals (army generals who have taken authority of the nation) or with their backs to them, the best of the stage artists seem committed to helping their audiences endure the hardships imposed by the regime.

Keywords:   Burmese performing arts, Burmese artists, international art, local traditions, generation gap, Burmese cultural heritage

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