New Asia Colloquia Paper by Patrick Alcedo

An Empire Stages Back

Our latest Asia Colloquia Paper is based on Patrick Alcedo’s February 2016 lecture-performance, “An Empire Stages Back: Nationalism, Postcoloniality, and the Diaspora in Philippine Dance.” The lecture-performance was a staging of how Filipino cultural productions respond to empire through dance and film. This lecture-performance mapped out histories of colonialism and imperialism in the Philippines and the Filipino diaspora through the cultures and stories encapsulated in folk and contemporary dance forms. Alcedo’s talk weaves his own trajectory as a scholar, dancer and filmmaker with the live staging of Filipino folk dances. The lecture-performance was structured through the frame of what Alcedo calls “intersecting modalities,” with live dance performances, images and excerpts from films and archival video footage, and was accompanied by a historical narration and an analysis in the form of an interspersed lecture. This paper represents the different modes of engaging with Filipino folk culture included in Alcedo’s February 2016 lecture-performance. In this paper, the text of his talk is partnered with videos of the dances staged at the live event and select images and videos from his visual aids.

Read the paper at