Discourses of Sundanese Dance

in Erotic Triangles

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print September 2010 | ISBN: 9780226769585
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226769608 | DOI:
Discourses of Sundanese Dance

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This book develops the argument that men's dancing persists in myriad forms in West Java because it satisfies a crucial need: through dancing, participants explore and enact the contradictions inherent in Sundanese gender identities. The combination of drumming and a female voice in effect grant men permission to “perform”—literally, onstage—the behaviors that constitute their own masculine identities that they unconsciously enact all the time. This chapter introduces some of the key concepts involved in the analysis: the panorama of Sundanese dance and some of the discourses around it; Sundanese ideas of masculinity and sexuality and how malu (shame) helps to regulate these ideas; and how masculinity, malu, and freedom govern Sundanese dance events. It also discusses how Sundanese dance might be conceived as an erotic triangle.

Keywords: Sundanese dance; West Java; men; dancing; gender identities; masculinity; sexuality; malu; drumming; female voice

Chapter.  15901 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Ethnomusicology

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