Shopping Cart Link

Wesleyan University Press

Sign up for our newsletter

Bookmark and Share
Cart link
Hardcover add to cart

For Educators

Add exam ebook
Cover image Click for larger image

Carmen, a Gypsy Geography
Ninotchka Devorah Bennahum

2013 • 300 pp. 30 illus. 7 x 10"
Dance / Cultural Studies

$45.00 Hardcover, 978-0-8195-7353-7

$35.99 Ebook, 978-0-8195-7354-4

Check your ebook retailer or local library for ebook availability.

Exploring the story and dance of Carmen the opera and Carmen the woman, Bennahum—a dance historian, choreographer, and performance theorist—offers a readable historiographic examination of, as she writes... [continued in Reviews below]”—K. Lynass, Choice

Encounters with the Gypsy female flamenco dancer throughout history

The figure of Carmen has emerged as a cipher for the unfettered female artist. Dance historian and performance theorist Ninotchka Bennahum shows us Carmen as embodied historical archive, a figure through which we come to understand the promises and dangers of nomadic, transnational identity, and the immanence of performance as an expanded historical methodology. Bennahum traces the genealogy of the female Gypsy presence in her iconic operatic role from her genesis in the ancient Mediterranean world, her emergence as flamenco artist in the architectural spaces of Islamic Spain, her persistent manifestation in Picasso, and her contemporary relevance on stage. This many-layered geography of the Gypsy dancer provides the book with its unique nonlinear form that opens new pathways to reading performance and writing history. Includes rare archival photographs of Gypsy artists.

Click here for TABLE OF CONTENTS

Reviews / Endorsements

“Exploring the story and dance of Carmen the opera and Carmen the woman, Bennahum—a dance historian, choreographer, and performance theorist—offers a readable historiographic examination of, as she writes in her preface, ‘how the ancient Middle East, Islamic Spain, and nineteenth-century France viewed and treated women.’…Only someone with Bennahum’s background could have written this book in such a way that it would appeal to dancers, historians, opera lovers, and those interested in Roma history, feminism, and issues of identity. Highly recommended (for) all readers.”
K. Lynass, Choice

“This text, whole or in parts, is ideal for dance history, performance theory, or world performance courses. A strong read for the graduate learning to meld theory with practice, Bennahum’s text fills a gap in our scholarship about gypsy culture and performance. She demonstrates a rigorous and far-reaching scope in her research that is inspiring for our field.”Christina Soriano, Journal of Dance Education

“Bennahum’s informed and intelligent presentation of dance practices in many settings and her ability to look back through textual traces to discover their sources in material culture are excellent. To read these traces in this way requires the eye and heart of a dancer.”
Evlyn Gould, Dance Chronicle

“[Bennahum] is first and foremost a dance historian, but you wouldn’t necessarily realize it, as she dissects her subject from the perspectives of mythography, ethnography, history, and geography…You are not likely to find a more punctilious consideration of the historical backdrop to Bizet’s opera.”—James M. Keller, Santa Fe New Mexican

Carmen: A Gypsy Geography is a significant study of the intersections between historiography, musicology, art history, literary theory, religious, cultural and dance studies, consolidated in the moving figure of Carmen, the Gypsy dancer.”—Michelle Heffner Hayes, author of Flamenco: Conflicting Histories of the Dance

“By skillfully weaving diverse strands of research into a sophisticated narrative, Bennahum calls the reader to consider the intersections of Gypsy history and identity through the character of Carmen.”—Sharon Friedler, professor and director of dance, Swarthmore College

NINOTCHKA DEVORAH BENNAHUM is a dance historian, choreographer. and performance theorist. She is an associate professor of theater and dance at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and the national director of dance history for American Ballet Theater. Her first book, Antonia Merce, ‘La Argentina’: Flamenco & the Spanish Avant-Garde, is the biography of the great Spanish modernist dance artist. Bennahum has published extensively in the areas of flamenco, Gypsy history, North African religious ritual, and the iconography of the female body in French Romantic spectacle.

Mon, 18 Jun 2018 12:10:54 -0500