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Latin American Research Review 42.1 (2007) 196-214

Imagining a Continent
Recent Research on Latin American Theater and the Performing Arts
Reviewed by
Beatriz J. Rizk
International Hispanic Theatre Festival of Miami
Teatralidades y Carnaval: Danzantes y Color en Puebla de Los Ángeles. By Ileana Azor. (Irvine, CA: Ediciones de Gestos, 2004. Pp. 155. $17.50 paper.)
Teatralidades de la Memoria: Rituales de Reconciliación en el Childe de la Transición. By Alicia del Campo. (Santiago de Chile: Mosquito Comunicaciones; Minneapolis: Institute for the Study of Ideologies & Literature, University of Minnesota, 2005. Pp. 250.)
The Spectacular City: Violence and Performance in Urban Bolivia. By Daniel M. Goldstein. (Durham: Duke University Press, 2004. Pp. 296. $74.95 cloth, $21.95 paper.)
La Nave de la Memoria: Cuatrotablas, Treinta Años de Teatro Peruano. By Mario Delgado Vásquez. Edited by Luis A. Ramos-García. (Lima: Asociación para la Investigación Actoral; Minnesota: Cuatrotablas, 2004. Pp. 272.)
Carnival Theater: Uruguay's Popular Performers and National Culture. By Gustavo Remedi. Translated by Amy Ferlazzo. (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2004. Pp. 312. $75.00 cloth, $25.00 paper.)
Nahuatl Theater: Volume 1, Death and Life in Colonial Nahua Mexico. Edited by Barry D. Sell and Louise M. Burkhart. (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2004. Pp. 320. $49.95 cloth.)
Contemporary Theatre in Mayan Mexico: Death-Defying Acts. By Tamara L. Underiner. (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2004. Pp. 203. $55.00 cloth, $21.95 paper.)

Scholarly books on Latin American theater and the performing arts not only have bloomed in recent years, but their range has been enormously diverse. As a group, the books under review here present multitextured trends that reflect some of the changes, transformation, and shifting emphasis in theoretical ideas, as well as practical salient issues involving the cultural, social, and political life of Latin Americans from all over the [End Page 196] region. The large number of books received by Latin American Research Review gives testimony to the explosion of research in the field, generated from both U.S.-based institutions and their Latin American counterparts. Using a variety of disciplinary lenses, the books also indicate the significant overlap of theories, disciplines, and fields that has taken place at the heart of theater and performance studies. As a consequence of this blurring of boundaries between disciplines, some of the publications reviewed here can be considered valuable additions in the humanities as well as in the social sciences fields.

From the general to the particular, we have experienced a proliferation of works on the topic. Impressive reference material has seen the light recently, such as the Encyclopedia of Latin American Theater (2003), edited by Eladio Cortés and Mirta Barrao-Marlys; the Dictionary of Literary Biography: Volume 305: Latin American Dramatists (2005), edited by Adam Versényi, which contains articles on thirty-one playwrights; the inspiring Historia multicultural del teatro y las teatralidades en América Latina (2005), by Juan Villegas; and the locally-focused Teatros y teatralidades en México Siglo XX (2004), by Domingo Adame. Country-specific studies have appeared throughout Latin America and the United States, including anthologies of plays with introductory essays that are sources of important data and thoughtful analysis.1

To mention but two of the countries not represented in this review in book form, Argentina and Cuba, both have seen a proliferation of important recent works dealing with theater. In Argentina, Osvaldo Pellettieri presents one of his latest renditions of the state of the field in the aftermath of the collapse of the Argentine economy in December 2001 and the psychological defeat it created, as seen from the stage, in a collection of essays and surveys with and by prominent scholars in Teatro argentino y crisis (2001–2003) (2004).2 In contrast to Lola Proaño-Gomez's recent edifying [End Page 197] study on the "Revolución Argentina" (1966–1973), Poética, política y ruptura: Argentina 1966–73: Teatro e identidad (2002), in which she...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1542-4278
Print ISSN
0023-8791
Pages
pp. 196-214
Launched on MUSE
2007-04-11
Open Access
No
Archive Status
Archived
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