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Streaming: Tues, Oct 2 5:30pm ET: Lester Tomé Interracial Choreo-erotics of the Cuban Revolution


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From the email from the Temple University Dance Studies Colloquium series:

Lester Tomé

Interracial Choreo-erotics of the Cuban Revolution: Ballet, Social Taboo and Postracial Hyperreality 

Colloquium_singleEvents_OCT2 (2).jpg
Tuesday October 2, 5:30 - 7pm
Gladfelter Hall, 10th fl., Temple University

Live-streaming at www.temple.edu/boyer/dance/RR

Parking is available in a TU parking lot (hourly, reasonable) at Berks and 11th. Gladfelter Hall is the first high-rise building when entering TU's main campus from Berk's and 11th, two blocks from the Septa Regional Rail TU station.  


About Interracial Choreo-erotics of the Cuban Revolution: Ballet, Social Taboo and Postracial Hyperreality 

In the 1960s, racial integration of the National Ballet of Cuba advanced one of the central projects of the Cuban Revolution: the reconstruction of the nation on the premise of racial equality. In this context, the National Ballet of Cuba’s interracially cast pas de deux constituted spectacles of state ideology. As performances of romance and desire, these duets articulated radical choreo-erotics that defied historical and contemporary taboos of interracial sex and miscegenation—taboos with origins in slave society that resurfaced as a public outcry when the Revolutionary Government desegregated social dance venues. Integrating archival research, oral history and dance theory, this presentation aims to elucidate the significance and meanings of these interracial pas de deux. How did ballet dancers regard choreo-erotic performances with dancers of a different race that would had been anathema only a decade earlier? How did these performances corporealize concepts of racial and cultural hybridity (mulatez and transculturación) that informed the Revolution's postcolonial definition of the nation-state? To what extent did the interracial ballet duets signal a transformation in social attitudes and the emergence of a new revolutionary kinestheme? How did the National Ballet’s interracial choreo-erotics relate to the hyper-reality of a postracial society located at the intersection of social practice, propaganda and state-controlled discourse?  

About Lester Tomé

Lester Tomé is an associate professor in the Smith College Dance Department and affiliate of the Five College Dance Department. He is the author of The Body Politic: Ballet and Revolution in Cuba (Oxford University Press, forthcoming). He has been a visiting scholar at Harvard University’s David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies and a fellow of the National Endowment for the Humanities. He is a member of the Dance Research Journal editorial board and chairs the Dance Studies Association’s Working Group for Latin American, Latino/a, and Caribbean Dance Studies. His articles have appeared in Dance Research Journal, Dance Chronicle, Cuban Studies, The Cambridge Companion to Ballet and Dance Magazine, among other publications. Tomé holds a PhD from Temple University.

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