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Filipino Identities in Motion: The Public, Folk, and Popular in Performance

Wed, June 24, 11:05am to 1:00pm, South Building, Floor: South, S1101

Session Submission Type: Organized Panel Proposal Application


Performance has long played a critical role in articulating the multiple meanings and values of Filipino identity. From the traditional performance genre of the komedya to contemporary Hip Hop, Filipinos have placed themselves and their bodies at the center of the Asian and international stage. Given the heterogeneity of Filipino performance, how do we conceive of Filipinos in motion? In order to respond to this question and provide dialogue for the broader notion of "Asia in Motion", our panel centralizes Filipino performance practices.

The panel brings together a diversity of scholars of different academic ranks (emeritus, associate, postdoctoral), countries (Philippines, Canada, U.S.), and institutions (state, national, and private) to collectively think about Filipino performance. Complementing the ways Filipino performance studies are relatively underrepresented in international conferences, the panel sparks conversation across the usual academic borders by situating performance alongside topics of wide-reaching relevance. Filipinos perform identities through festivals, physical education, ritual, folkloric dance groups, pop cultural production, and even migration. Focusing on Filipino performance allows panelists to: show the vital roles of folk dance in domestic as well as foreign spaces; document festival choreography amidst political and economic changes; rethink distinctions between dance and globalization; and call for a nuanced understanding of colonial performance in Asia. By drawing from disparate disciplinary strengths (Dance, Comparative Literature, Asian American studies, and Ethnomusicology), the panel is able to speak across a variety of performance genres (colonial ritual, regional festival, diasporic folk, global popular) that embody historical and contemporary practices of performing Filipino identity.

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