I would like to attend the AAS-in-Asia conference in Korea - am planning on presenting my work on Cambodian royal ballet performers/dancers in the West.
I look at the role of Cambodian dance in Cambodia's Cold War diplomacy in the West. It looks into the unique political context of Cambodia following its independence from France, arguably the period where Khmer dance performances became an integral part of Cambodia's modern politics and diplomatic affairs. It explores the dynamic relationship between dance and politics from Sihanouk's rise to power in 1953 up until 1970 and examines the role of dance in articulating Cambodia's Cold War diplomacy and interrogates how Cambodian dance incorporated Cambodia's changing political interests, ideology and expressions. More specifically, this project traces the performances of the Royal Ballet of Cambodia to the United States, Europe, and the Soviet Union and examines their role as cultural ambassadors for Cambodia. It also investigates how Cambodian political leaders such as Sihanouk leveraged traditional Khmer dances in forging foreign relations with the West amidst Cold War tensions. Finally, it probes into the reception and perceptions of the 'Western' audience and scrutinizes how these imaginaries reinforce or challenge their Cold War interests.
I could fit in panels on cultural cold war in Asia; or Asian dance and politics; or post-colonial Cambodia...
Do let me know if you're keen to collaborate!
Darlene Machell Espena
Singapore Management Universitydarlenee@smu.edu.sg