Review Of "Butting Out: Reading Resistive Choreographies Through Works By Jawole Willa Jo Zollar And Chandralekha" By A. Chatterjea

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A choreographer, performer, and activist, Chatterjea (Univ. of Minnesota) brings all of her identities to play in her first book. She uses the work of Jawolle Willa Jo Zollar (from the US) and Chandralekha (from India)--two significant contemporary female choreographers and community-arts activists--to explore questions of class, race, nationality, and gender. Drawing on extensive research conducted with each choreographer, the author employs theoretical tools from African American, postcolonial, sexuality, and women's studies to compare and contrast the two women's methods and choreographic histories. She places Zollar's company of African American women (Urban Bush Women) in relation to Chandralekha's Madras company, exploring their "resistant" choreographic production. Taking account of differences in styles, she finds common themes, investigates reinventions of traditions, and looks at how each woman addresses issues of social concern. Forty-two carefully chosen black-and-white photos illustrate the discussion; the endnotes and bibliography are extensive and useful as aids to further study. With this book, Chatterjea makes an important contribution to discourse connecting political activism and aesthetics in contemporary dance. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty and professionals.


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