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


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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Conventions, Romanization, and Preliminary Notes xiii


CONVENTIONS, ROMANIZATION, AND PRELIMINARY NOTES he Romanization systems used in this book are those generally considered standard in the English speaking world, based primarily on the transliterations provided by the reputable scholars referenced throughout this work; any diacritic markings utilized in non-English terms are those widely accepted by scholars within their field. Except for the case of a few minor Hebrew transla- tions, the translation and subsequent transliteration of Tamil, San- skrit, Japanese, Turkish, and Arabic texts is not my own, but the work of the scholars referenced throughout this book. In the rare case that the translation is mine, it is clearly referenced with an endnote. If there was a disparity in transliteration spelling in non-English words, I consulted a variety of reference books and chose the transliteration that was most widely accepted; in some rare cases, I asked the author or another person fluent in the language in question. For the sake of consistency and referencing, I have italicized every non-English term throughout the dissertation, while also providing a glossary of these terms at the end of the book. The glossary includes only brief definitions for points of reference. Further, I also chose to italicize major reforms, movements, and bills (Madras Devadasi Bill, Meiji Restoration, Balfour Declaration, etc.) to illustrate importance. As these reforms and movements are referenced multiple times through- out this work, I do not include them in the glossary. Another conven- tion worth noting is the use of surnames. In keeping with East Asian tradition,...

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