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The 'Dark Continent' goes north: an exploration of intercultural theatre practice through Handspring and Sogolon Puppet Companies' production of Tall Horse

By Yvette Hutchison

Abstract

This essay explores the complexities of intercultural interaction, specifically in the context of globalization. These interactions involve not only contact with, but also negotiation of cultural representations. The debates about the processes involved in such encounters are complex and highlight tensions among aesthetics, ideology, the ethics of production, voice, and authorship. The essay begins by outlining some of the key debates and issues specifically for theatre; in particular, it looks at the tension between Brook’s transcultural approach to intercultural theatre and Rustom Bharucha’s insistence on contextualized and historicized interactions. These theoretical positions are explored against the specific example of Tall Horse (2005), an intercultural production by the South African Handspring Puppet Company, the Malian Sogolon Puppet Company, a choreographer from Benin, and a scriptwriter from New York. The essay examines both the ideological issues raised in the text and the practical issues of cross-cultural collaboration and interaction to suggest an approach that may mediate between binaries that seem to dominate cultural interaction

Topics: PN2000
Publisher: The Johns Hopkins University Press
Year: 2010
OAI identifier: oai:wrap.warwick.ac.uk:3279

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