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Stunning Males and Powerful FemalesGender and Tradition in East Javanese Dance$
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Christina Sunardi

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780252038952

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252038952.001.0001

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Constructing Gender and Tradition through Senses of History

Constructing Gender and Tradition through Senses of History

(p.94) 4. Constructing Gender and Tradition through Senses of History
Stunning Males and Powerful Females

Christina Sunardi

University of Illinois Press

This chapter looks at how performers constructed senses of gender—including boundaries of femaleness and maleness—as they established what comprised tradition through their senses of history. It emphasizes that the ways performers connected femaleness, the female style dance Beskalan Putri, the past, spiritual power, and Malang indicates ways of thinking that in effect maintain cultural space for the magnetic power of femaleness and connect female power to Malangan identity. The senses of femaleness and its power that performers associated with Beskalan Putri were so strong that they shaped the ways performers understood and talked about the histories of other dances discussed in this chapter, including Ngremo Lanang, Ngremo Putri, and Beskalan Lanang, as well as the expression of gender in these dances. These perceptions also provide deeper insight into what has concerned performers about the performance of Ngremo Tayub and Ngremo Putri since the 1990s.

Keywords:   gender, femaleness, maleness, Malangan tradition, cultural space, Malangan identity, Beskalan Putri, dance histories

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