Modernity, power, and the reconstruction of dance in post-1950s Tibet

Anna Morcom

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This article traces the changes and transformations of Tibetan dance that have occurred since 1950. It looks at how agents of change ranging from small groups of Tibetans to the Chinese state create, negotiate, and represent different kinds of Tibetan modernities through reconstructions and reconfigurations of Tibetan dance, and it examines how dance is modernized, the kinds of modernity represented, and the social and political power dynamics involved. In particular, the article looks at the repercussions on dance of the recent state-sponsored economic development of Tibet that has resulted in the formation of new urban middle classes but also a dramatic growth in disparity. It also examines the impact on dance culture of the growth of heterogeneous communities in the increasingly mobile population of contemporary Tibet. The article further addresses the issue of globalization, which sees new layers being added to the social and cultural hierarchies of twenty-first century Tibet.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-42
JournalJournal of the International Association of Tibetan Studies
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2007

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