Performing Java and Bali on International Stages: Routes from the Indies, 1905-1952


ACLS Fellowship Program


Drama and Theatre


This project is a critical history of stage representations of Java and Bali in North America, Europe, India, and elsewhere outside Indonesia, focusing on the late colonial period and early independence. It examines a shift in artistic sensibility from exotic Orientalism to ethnographic responsibility; the ways that performance established respect for Java and Bali’s cultures; and the structures of anitmodernism and cultural internationalism that co-articulated with performances. The diverse figures investigated include Mata Hari, Richard Teschner, Jodjana, Stella Bloch, Devi Dja, and Rabindranath Tagore. By recollecting forbears’ artistic careers, this study provides a resource for contemporary performers and scholars moving between cultures and continents to reflect upon our own predicaments.