new series: A Cultural History of Theatre (ed. C. B. Balme & T. C. Davis), Bloomsbury

Edited by Tracy C. Davis and Christopher B. Balme, this new Cultural History of Theatre series offers an insightful survey from ancient times (500 BCE) to the present. The set of six volumes covers a span of 2,500 years, tracing the complexity of the interactions between theatre and culture.
Each volume discusses the same themes in its chapters, namely Institutional Frameworks,  Social Functions, Sexuality and Gender, The Environment of Theatre, Circulation, Interpretations, Communities of Production, Repertoire and Genres, Technologies of Performance, and Knowledge Transmission: Media and Memory.

Volume 1: A Cultural History of Theatre in Antiquity (Edited by Martin Revermann)
Volume 2: A Cultural History of Theatre in the Middle Ages (Edited by Jody Enders)
Volume 3: A Cultural History of Theatre in the Early Modern Age (Edited by Robert Henke)
Volume 4: A Cultural History of Theatre in the Age of Enlightenment (Edited by Mechele Leon)
Volume 5: A Cultural History of Theatre in the Age of Empire (Edited by Peter Marx)
Volume 6: A Cultural History of Theatre in the Modern Age (Edited by Kim Solga)

Five GTH Centre members contributed to volume 5, A Cultural History of theatre in the Age of Empire: Jim Davis, Nic Leonhardt, Derek Miller, Stanca Scholz-Cionca, and Laurence Senelick.

Indian Theatre Artists and the Cold War. ERC Workshop at IIC, New Delhi, 29-30 Sept 2017

The first workshop of the ERC project Developing Theatre is taking place in New Delhi. Organized by Gautam Chakrabarti, PostDoc of the research group, this workshop brings together theatre, art and media scholars and practitioners from India and Europe at the beautiful India International Centre, New Delhi (29-30 September, 2017).

Post-independence India was one of the key sites where the “cultural Cold War” was fought–more often than not– with as much gusto and ruthlessness as its ideological and military counterparts. Theatre was one of the core areas in which this cultural conflict was played out between the 1950s and 1980s, with almost all the major players, both individual and collective or institutional, in contemporary Indian theatre having gone through the ’rite de tomorrow passage’ of ideological training. Academic exploration of these political contestations and problematisations of cultural practices, especially in the Indian context, have opened up larger horizons of possible enquiry. This workshop seeks to bring practitioners, scholars and witnesses of this fascinating history into dialogue with one another.

Participants: V. Akshara (NINASAM, Heggudu) – Christopher Balme (LMU Munich; PI ERC-Project „Developing Theatre“) – Trina N. Banerjee (Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta) – Gautam Chakrabarti (LMU Munich, ERC-Project „Developing Theatre“ – Dwaipayan Chowdhury (Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi) – Anirban Ghosh (Jadavpur University, Calcutta) – Rakshanda Jalil (Writer, Critic and Literary Historian, Delhi) – Minakshi Kaushik (Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi) – Malashri Lal (Convener, English Advisory Board, Sahitya Akademi, Delhi) – Nic Leonhardt (LMU Munich, Associate Director, ERC-Project „Developing Theatre“) – Raghunandana Sathamarshana (Poet, Playwright and Stage-Director, Bengaluru) – Tripurari Sharma (National School of Drama, Delhi) – Vani Tripathi-Tikoo (Member, Central Board of Film Certification, Delhi) –Atul Tiwari (Theatre-, Media- and Film-Practitioner, Independent Scholar, Mumbai)

The workshop is internal. The programme can be downloaded here.

New Publication Out: The Bayreuth Enterprise (1848-1914) by Gero Tögl


Gero Tögl, former PhD student of the Global Theatre Histories research project and associate of the GTH Centre, has just published his PhD thesis The Bayreuth Enterprise, 1848-1914.

In this monograph, Gero reassesses the early history of the Bayreuth Festival between 1848 and 1914 from the perspective of a transnational social project dedicated to the ‚regeneration‘ of modern societies and istitutional reform.  Based on recent debates in globalization theory, ethnography, and anthropology, the book focuses on the interplay of seemingly contradictory aspects such as financing and anti-capitalist ideology, nationalism and the cosmopolitan reach of Wagner’s ideas, artistic monopolization and global marketing.

Gero Tögl: The Bayreuth Enterprise (1848-1914). Würzburg: Königshausen & Neumann 2017. (ISBN  978-3-8260-6011-3) 

Team „Developing Theatre“ travelled to São Paulo.

     The ERC-Project „Developing Theatre„, led by Prof. Dr. Christopher Balme, was represented at the Annual Conference of the International Federation for Theatre Research (IFTR, 10th-14th July, 2017, São Paulo, Brazil) by Prof. Balme, Dr. Nic Leonhardt, Dr. Gautam Chakrabarti and Dr. Rashna D. Nicholson. The first three members spoke in a panel titled „Collective Modern Theater from the 1st Part of XXth Century and Beyond“. Prof. Balme spoke on „Theatrical modernism for the world: Theatrical Epistemic Communities 1920-1960“, and also introduced the ERC-Project to the audience, which was much larger than expected and necessitated a change of the venue to a larger room. He also demonstrated the beta-version of „Our History„, the Digital Humanities platform of the Project. There was, evidently, a lot of interest in this DH-interface and how it may redefine scholarly conceptualisations of global theatre history.

The ERC-Project „Developing Theatre“ group, with Dr. Azadeh Sharifi (LMU-München).

Dr. Chakrabarti presented a paper, based on his sub-project within the ERC-Project, titled „The Red Bear has Awoken!: Soviet Engagement with Indian Theatre Artists in the Cold War“. He spoke about the Soviet connection of post-Independence India’s ‚progressive‘ theatre. He sought, based on his archival and other researches since the beginning of the Project in end-2016, „to attempt a tentative theorisation of the Cold-War-era geopolitical spatialisation of Eurasian cultural geographies as a reactive and subversive function to Eastern Bloc conceptualisations of colonial modernity.“

Dr. Leonhardt’s paper was titled ‚“…Enlarging the Boundaries of Human Knowledge“– by Means of Theatre: Multiple Theatricalities and the Philanthropic Agenda of Stabilizing Cultural Geographies after 1945‘. She presented her research on various, mainly American philanthropists and the foundations established by them and sought to conceptualise philanthropy as a tool of cultural politics in the post-WW2 years. Both her paper and that of Dr. Chakrabarti led, during the Q&A, to animated discussions that underscored the current relevance of the research questions this Project seeks to foreground.

As part of the four-member „Developing Theatre“ delegation, Dr. Nicholson spent most of her working hours at the Historiography Working Group. According to her, she „was moved by a series of thought-provoking keynote speeches, struck by the warmth and generosity of the conference volunteers who stood at all hours of the day at strategic points in Sao Paulo’s Butantã subway station and enjoyed the pão de queijo served up with our coffee each day.“ We also noted the adequate presence of security personnel and are thankful to the organizers, from the University of São Paulo, for their special attention to the delegates’ well-being and security.The crowning glory of the conference was a farewell reception at an exciting theatrical space, which soon dissolved into dance and music that gave us a delightful impression of Brazilian joi de vivre!

Farewell reception.

The overall impression we had of the conference was that of a frenetic and dynamic environment that opened up multiple opportunities and pathways for dialogue and debate. We look forward to the next IFTR Conference in 2018 at Belgrade with pleasant expectations and fond memories of a colourful and productive experience in São Paulo.

The colourful houses of São Paulo.

New Article Out Now: Theatrical Institutions in Motion (C. Balme)

The first peer-reviewed publication of the new ERC project „Developing Theatre: Building Expert Networks for Theatre in Emerging Countries after 1945” just came out in the Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism (vol. 31, 2, 2017).

In his paper “Theatrical Institutions in Motion: Developing Theatre in the Postcolonial Era” the project’s principal investigator Christopher Balme examines the complex transnational processes that led to an institutionalization of theatre in emerging nations after 1945.

Christopher Balme: „Theatrical Institutions in Motion: Developing Theatre in the Postcolonial Era“, Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism, vol. 31, no. 2, 2017, pp. 125–140.

Article available on Project MUSE.

 

Facelift of GTH: new Centre, Logo, Website

Same agenda – new concept.

Same web address – new face.

New centre  – new logo.  

 

After five truly fruitful and successful years and due to its ongoing disciplinary relevance, we reframed the DFG funded research project Global Theatre Histories as a Centre for Global Theatre History.

Our new website went online recently. Check it out!

If you have any questions regarding the Centre’s agenda, possible fellowships, seminars, talks, etc, please do not hesitate to contact Nic Leonhardt, director of the GTH Centre, via n.leonhardt [at] lmu.de

We would like to thank Maryam Khosrovani for the logo !

 

„Developing Theatre“ – Presentation of our new ERC Research Project

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http://www.world-theatre-day.org/

Developing Theatre: Building Expert Networks for Theatre in Emerging Countries after 1945 reads the title of our new ERC funded research project under the umbrella of the Centre for Global Theatre History.

On Wednesday, 18 January, 2017, 12 (s.t.)-2pm the project’s leaders and researchers will introduce to the agenda of Developing Theatre at the Institute of Theatre Studies, Georgenstrasse 11, 80799 Munich, room #109. 

Abstract

This new research project, sponsored by the European Research Council, proposes a fundamental re-examination of the historiography of theatre in emerging countries after 1945. It investigates the institutional factors that led to the emergence of professional theatre in the post-war period throughout the decolonizing world. The particular focus will be on the massive involvement of internationally coordinated ‚development‘ and ‚modernization‘ programs both East and West. The project will introduce the concepts of epistemic community, expert networks and techno-politics to theatre historical research as a means to historicize theatre within transnational and transcultural paradigms and examine its imbrication in globalization processes.

With contributions by Christopher Balme (PI), Nic Leonhardt (Associate Director & Senior Researcher), Gautam Chakrabarti (PostDoc), Rebecca Sturm (PhD candidate).

The project website will be online soon.

Contact: n.leonhardt @ lmu.de

 

 

GTH Journal: Vol.1, no. 2 out now. Focus on „Theatrescapes“

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The peer-reviewed online Journal of Global Theatre History has recently published its 2nd issue with special focus on Theatrescapes. Global Media and Local Publics. Explore this new issue and learn about the Denishawns in Asia, Sarah Bernhardt in Brazil, a female Jockey from the Rio de la Plata region, and German actor Daniel Bandmann performing Shakespeare globally.

Contributors are Monize Oliveira Moura on „Sarah Bernhardt in Brazil (1886 and 1893)“, Catherine Vance Yeh on Experimenting with Dance Drama: Peking Opera Modernity, Kabuki Theater Reform and the Denishawn’s Tour of the Far East“, Johanna Dupré on „‚Die erste Jockey-Reiterin der Welt, aus Süd-Amerika‘: Rosita de la Plata, Global Imaginaries and the Media“, and Lisa J. Warrington on „Herr Daniel Bandmann and Shakespeare vs the World“. With an introductory comment by Nic Leonhardt.

We would like to thank all authors for sharing their research and ideas and allowing us to publish their stimulating papers.

The topic of the next issue of the journal (May 2017) will be Translocating Theatre History. Papers are due on 15 March, 2017.

Public Talk by Helen Gilbert: „Deep Time, Slow Violence, Haunted Lands“

The Centre for Global Theatre History cordially invites you to this guest lecture by Helen Gilbert, professor for theatre studies and currently a Alexander von Humboldt fellow at the Rachel Carson Centre, Munich.

The lecture will take place on Wednesday, 14 December, 12-2pm at the Institute for Theatre Studies, Georgenstrasse 11, 80796 Munich, room 109.

Her talk aims to set up a dialogue between philosophical debates informing the concept of the anthropocene (loosely defined as the age of unprecedented human disturbance of the earth’s ecosystems) and recent indigenous performances concerned with the effects of climate change, not just on indigenous lands and lifeways, but also in global terms.

Helen Gilbert is Professor of Theatre at Royal Holloway, University of London, and author of several influential books, notably Performance and Cosmopolitics: Cross-Cultural Transactions in Australasia (2007) and Postcolonial Drama: Theory, Practice, Politics (1996). From 2009–14, she led the transnational ERC-funded project on indigenous performance across the Americas, the Pacific, Australia and South Africa. She has curated experimental performance work in universities and museums and brought performance-based insights to scientific research, notably in Wild Man From Borneo: A Cultural History of the Orangutan (2014). Recent books: In the Balance: Indigeneity, Performance, Globalization (2017) and Recasting Commodity and Spectacle in the Indigenous Americas (2014).

Iconic Royal Opera House Mumbai Reopens (with a little help from LMU theatre historians)

Royal Opera House: view from the road

Royal Opera House: view from the road (Photo: Christopher Balme)

Tonight, on 20 October 2016, the historic Royal Opera House (ROH) in Mumbai will reopen after extensive restoration.  Under the direction of award-winning conservation architect Abha Narain Lambah the opera house has been restored to its original state when it first opened in 1912. The building has been owned by the Gondal family since the early 1950s and their commitment to its conservation has made this task possible. The LMU Global Theatre Histories project contributed to the restoration effort by providing the conservation team with rare written and visual material describing the interior of the building. Theatre historian Christopher Balme is researching the career of the theatrical impresario Maurice E. Bandmann (1872-1922) who built the ROH together with a Parsi coal merchant J.F. Karaka. While researching a term paper for a MA seminar, a student research assistant David Berger located an extremely rare publication in the Bavarian State Library, J.J. Sheppard (ed.), Territorials in India:  A Souvenir of Their Historic Arrival for Military Duty in the „Land of the Rupee“. From the Royal Opera House, Bombay. Prepared in Accordance with the Instructions of the Proprietor, J. F. Karaka. (1916). This publication (World Cat lists only two extant copies), funded by the proprietor of the ROH, contains a detailed description with photographs of the interior. In a recent interview Lambah acknowledged this help.The restoration itself has been a huge job as she stated on the eve of the opening: „“More than 54,000 days of manpower, skilled craftsmanship, stone sculptors, stain glass conservators, art restorators and technical engineers have gone into recreating this piece of history. About 100 years ago the Opera House was India’s most stunning cultural venue. We hope with this restoration it would open its doors once again to some of the finest live performances in music, dance, theatre, fashion and opera.” The opening tonight is a historic event and has attracted a great deal of media attention. Balme was interviewed recently for one of India’s leading online cultural publications, scroll.in,  to gain more information about Bandmann and his largely forgotten role in India’s theatre history.

View of the stage be

View of the stage before restoration (Photo: Christopher Balme)

Developing Theatre after 1945 – Lecture by Christopher Balme @ Uni Heidelberg

Kurzmitteilung

Tglobalgeschichte_vortragsreihe-uni-heidelberghe Department of History at Heidelberg University has invited Christopher Balme to speak about his new ERC project Developing Theatre as part of the department’s lecture series on Global History.

The lecture entitled Developing Theatre: Building Expert Networks for Theatre in Emerging Countries after 1945 will take place on Thursday, 19 January, 2017, 6pm. (Historisches Seminar, Grabengasse 3-5, Hörsaal, Heidelberg).

The new ERC project started recently at LMU Munich. For the next 5 years, an international team of researchers will be working on strategies and politics of developing theatre after the World War II. More on this new avenue of writing Global Theatre Histories will be published shortly!

Translocating Theatre Histories Symposium (19-21 August, 2016)

From 19 to 21 of August, the Global Theatre Histories project celebrates 5 years of successful work and inspiring collaboration with international partners as well as the kick-off of a new Center for Global Theatre Histories with a symposium on Translocating Theatre Histories.

Speakers and respondents are: Khalid Amine, Christopher Balme, Rustom Bharucha, Leo Cabranes-Grant, Catherine Cole, Tracy Davis, Marija Djokic, Anirban Ghosh, Nic Leonhardt, Marlis Schweitzer, Laurence Senelick,Rashna Nicholson, Berenika Szymanski-Düll, Gero Tögl, Maria Helena Werneck, meLê yamomo, Catherine Yeh

Conference venue: IBZ Munich, Amalienstrasse 38, 80799 Munich

Please contact Gero Tögl (gero.toegl@lrz.uni-muenchen.de) or Nic Leonhardt (n.leonhardt@lrz.uni-muenchen.de) for registration before 15 August.

 

Fresh from the Press: our GTH Booklet

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GTH Booklet front pageOn the occasion of the final year of the Global Theatre Histories research project we compiled a little Booklet that we cordially invite you to browse.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you would like to receive a hard copy of the booklet.

If you are attending the annual conference of the International Federation for Theatre Research in Stockolm this year, look out for a hard copy!

The research project comes to an end, yet we continue with a Center for Global Theatre Histories. More info coming soon.

Negotiating the Entertainment Business: Theatrical Brokers around 1900

Brokers Detail

Special focus issue of the Popular Entertainment Studies Journal, Vol 6, No 2 (2015)

Guest Editor: Nic Leonhardt (Munich)

“Between the artist who seeks for an engagement and the manager always on the look out for an extraordinary ‛novelty,’”, write Hughes Le Roux and Jules Garnier in Acrobats and Mountebanks (1890), “a third person necessarily intervenes, the middle-man, who arises everywhere between buyer and seller. And, in fact, at the present time all the principal cities of the world have their agents for performing artists of every kind. These personages are very important, and make large profits.”

Profits, Copyright, Royalties, Networking… From a transnational historical perspective, neither theatre as an art form nor theatre as a business can work without the patronage of professional mediators. When French actress Sarah Bernhardt (1844-1923) toured Europe, South and North America in the late-19th and early 20th centuries, she could not do so without professional agents and managers. They were responsible for arranging her contracts, negotiating her royalties, taking care of the travel logistics, (ship, train, accommodation, customs), arranging her itinerary, the transport of her costumes, and the press work. Despite their enormous influence , the practices, connections and circuits of artistic brokers in the period under consideration have been, in the main, under-researched.

The current issue of the Popular Entertainment Studies journal gathers a selection of papers from the international symposium “Cultural Brokers. Nomenclature, Knowledge and Negotiations of (Performance) Agents, Managers and Impresarios (1850-1930)”, which took place in October 2014. This conference, organized by Nic Leonhardt, and generously funded by the Center for Advanced Studies of the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich and the German Research Foundation, brought together scholars from different disciplinary backgrounds such as English and American Studies, History, Theatre Studies, and History of Law, in order to exclusively and intensively discuss the profession of brokerage in the larger theatrical world in the period under discussion. The focus was therefore on the profession of theatrical brokers, agents, and impresarios who functioned as crucial cultural mediators in the fields of the performing arts and media in Europe, the United States, Asia, Australia, and Africa between 1880 and 1930.

Table of Contents

Nic Leonhardt: Editorial

Christopher Balme: Managing Theatre and Cinema in Colonial India: Maurice E. Bandmann, J.F. Madan and the War Films’ Controversy

meLê yamomo: Brokering Sonic Modernities: migrant Manila musicians in the Asia Pacific, 1881-1948

Tracy C. Davis: International Advocacy for Fire Prevention: Calculating Risk and Brokering Best Practices in Theatres

Louis Pahlow: Industrialised Music Brokers as Competing Market Players: The Administration of Music Rights in Germany (ca. 1870-1930)

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New paper by Nic Leonhardt: „Re-routing the World Tour of the Boosra Mahin Siamese Theatre Troupe (1900)“

published in Theatre Research International, Volume 40 / Issue 02 / July 2015, pp 140-155

abstract:

„Bangkok, Singapore, Paris, Vienna, Berlin, St Petersburg – some thirty performers of the Boosra Mahin Siamese Theatrical Troupe toured the world in 1900. Daily newspapers enthusiastically reported on the unprecedented shows of the performers ‘from the land of the white elephant’. After they disappeared from the map of theatre history, in 2010 Thai choreographer Pichet Klunchun ‘revives’ the troupe in his performance Nijinsky Siam. He follows their October 1900 St Petersburg show – the very performance attended by choreographer Mikhail Fokine and costume designer Léon Bakst, who later worked closely with Vaslav Nijinsky. In 1910, Nijinsky’s La danse siamoise/Siamese Dance premiered at the Marinsky Theatre, St Petersburg. This article follows the routes of the Boosra Mahin Troupe on the basis of selected primary sources and from a global-historical perspective. In tracing the Boosra Mahin Troupe and their tours, the article not only maps their manifold routings and reroutings, but also advocates for the need for a global theatre historiography that puts past cultural entanglements and connected performance histories centre stage.“

Paper