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Local Acts (05 Edition)by Jan Cohen-cruz
Synopses & ReviewsPlease note that used books may not include additional media (study guides, CDs, DVDs, solutions manuals, etc.) as described in the publisher comments.
An eclectic mix of art, theatre, dance, politics, experimentation, and ritual, community-based performance has become an increasingly popular art movement in the United States. Forged by the collaborative efforts of professional artists and local residents, this unique field brings performance together with a range of political, cultural, and social projects, such as community-organizing, cultural self-representation, and education. Local Acts presents a long-overdue survey of community-based performance from its early roots, through its flourishing during the politically-turbulent 1960s, to present-day popular culture. Drawing on nine case studies, including groups such as the African American Junebug Productions, the Appalachian Roadside Theater, and the Puerto Rican Teatro Pregones, Jan Cohen-Cruz provides detailed descriptions of performances and processes, first-person stories, and analysis. She shows how the ritual side of these endeavors reinforces a sense of community identification while the aesthetic side enables local residents to transgress cultural norms, to question group habits, and to incorporate a level of craft that makes the work accessible to individuals beyond any one community. The book concludes by exploring how community-based performance transcends even national boundaries, connecting the local United States with international theater and cultural movements.
Book News Annotation:
Cohen-Cruz (drama, New York U.) seeks to capture the spirit and materiality of community-based performance in the US, discussing some markers of the past, principles and purposes in the present, and aesthetic diversity, primarily in the generation of practitioners who came of age in the 1960s and 1970s. Performance, she says, includes not only theater, but also music, dance, and other heightened behavior intended for public viewing. The common features of the 16 examples she describes are collaborating with people whose lives inform the subject matter and expressing collective meaning.
Annotation ©2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Arts and Entertainment » Art » Performance Art