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Angora Matta (Music/Culture)by Marta El Savigliano
Synopses & Reviews
Operatic, ethnographic thriller tests the boundaries between art and scholarship.
Angora Matta is a bilingual (Spanish/English) and interdisciplinary work that adopts performative writing to reflect on the transnational politics of culture. Part I is an introduction co-authored by a tango-opera librettist and a central character in her libretto, offering two contending versions of how this book came into being. Part II is the libretto for the tango-opera Angora Matta, a critical view of Argentina's contemporary history conceived as a surreal and tragic thriller. Part III contains feminist scholarly essays written by three other characters who appear in the libretto: Elvira Diaz is a dance ethnographer disenchanted with her profession; Manuela Malva is a biting foreign-film critic invested in de-mystifying exotic renderings of the Argentine tango world; Angora Matta, the assassin for hire, closes the book with philosophico-poetic preoccupations about her profession. An innovative blend of scholarship and art, Angora Matta is both critique of and antidote to the representational practices of ethnography that have fetishized "other" cultures by isolating them from contemporary history and the global flow of international politics.
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