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Censorship and Liberty: Philippine Performance during the WWII Japanese Occupation

Academic presentation by Carolina San Juan, Ph.D. Candidate, UCLA Department of World Arts and Cultures.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
160 Kaufman Hall
UCLA Campus
Los Angeles, CA 90095

By examining the Filipinization of Vaudeville to Bodabil, I present ways to think about censorship, improvisation, and liberty. Vaudeville and later Bodabil have complex roles in the history of Philippine subjugation because of their reliance on improvisation. For example, the commercial nature of Bodabil relies on improvised performances that respond quickly and accurately to their audiences' needs. In addition, the irreverent and improvisational nature of Bodabil aids Filipino audiences in understanding any loss of liberty that comes with the censorship of their entertainment. This in turn highlights how Filipinos understand their experience as colonized subjects. Through this study, I demonstrate the role that censorship plays in Bodabil and how improvisation is a space that demonstrates a society’s understanding of their liberty.

Carolina San Juan came to UCLA as a Filipino Ballroom Dance Instructor with a lot of questions about dance and her community. She has since finished her M.A. in Dance, helped open Oakland School for the Arts, created the arts mentorship/scholarship program- Arts IN (through UCLA's AAP Graduate Mentoring Programs), and is currently the SOAA ArtsBridge Program coordinator. Carolina's present project investigates the development and function of Filipino Vaudeville known as Bodabil. She still has a lot of questions but has learned better ways to think about them.

Part of the World Arts and Cultures lecture series "Chew on This."

Cost : Free and open to the public.


Sponsor(s): Center for Southeast Asian Studies, World Arts & Cultures/Dance

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