Anya Peterson Royce turns the anthropological gaze on the performing arts, attempting to find broad commonalities in performance, art, and artists across space, time, and culture. She asks general questions as to the nature of artistic interpretation, the differences between virtuosity and artistry, and how artists interplay with audience, aesthetics, and style. To support her case, she examines artists as diverse as Fokine and the Ballets Russes, Tewa Indian dancers, 17th century commedia dell'arte, Japanese kabuki and butoh, Zapotec shamans, and the mime of Marcel Marceau, adding her own observations as a professional dancer in the classical ballet tradition. Royce also points to the recent move toward collaboration across artistic genres as evidence of the universality of aesthetics. Her analysis leads to a better understanding of artistic interpretation, artist-audience relationships, and the artistic imagination as cross-cultural phenomena. Over 29 black and white photographs and drawings illustrate the wide range of Royce's cross-cultural approach.
Her well-crafted volume will be of great interest to anthropologists, arts researchers, and students of cultural studies and performing arts.
Anya Peterson Royce is professor of anthropology at Indiana University and a specialist in the anthropology of dance and the performing arts.
Chapter 1 1. Toward Understanding Performance Chapter 2 2. Virtuosity: The Masque of Nonchalance Chapter 3 3. Technique and Style, Conservatism, and Change: Michel Fokine and the Ballets Russe Chapter 4 4. Artistry: The Embodiment of Transparency Chapter 5 5. Codified and Metaphorical Vocabularies: The Creative Artistry of Vaslav Nijinsky and of Marcel Marceau Chapter 6 6. Tewa Indian Ritual: Native Aesthetics Chapter 7 7. Artistic Performances: Janos Starker Crafts the Inevitable Chapter 8 8. Silence and Stillness in Music and Dance Chapter 9 9. The Audience as Creator and Interpreter Chapter 10 10. Performers and Genres: The Form and Meaning of Innovation Chapter 11 11. Artistry and Altered States Chapter 12 12. Afterthoughts Chapter 13 References