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Embodying the Feminine in the Dances of the World’s Religions

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Angela M. Yarber

Dances that embody the «feminine» teach the dancer and the observers inside and outside the faith tradition about women’s experiences, expressions, and understandings within their respective faith traditions. In Embodying the Feminine in the Dances of the World’s Religions, the author immerses herself in four dance traditions and explores what their dance teaches about women’s experiences in their faith tradition. Bharatanatyam is a classical Indian dance stemming from the devadasi system; kabuki onnagata are Japanese male enactors of «female-likeness»; the Mevlevi Order of America allows women to train as «whirling dervishes»; and Gurit Kadman created folk dances for Jewish women and men.

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

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Foreword ...................................................................................................... ix Acknowledgments ...................................................................................... xi Conventions, Romanization, and Preliminary Notes .......................... xiii One: Introduction ......................................................................................... 1 Two: Contemporary Entry Points ............................................................ 11 Three: Dance and the Dancer who Performs the Feminine ................. 27 Four: Dance and the Observer within the Faith Tradition ................... 89 Five: Dance and the Outside Observer ................................................. 113 Conclusions ............................................................................................... 137 Glossary of Non-English Terms ............................................................. 139 Bibliography ............................................................................................. 145

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