How do music and dance reveal the ways in which a community comprehends and interacts with the world? How do the senses communicate cultural knowledge? In Sensational Knowledge, ethnomusicologist and dancer Tomie Hahn uncovers the process and nuances of learning nihon buyo, a traditional Japanese dance form. She uses case studies of dancers at all levels, as well as her own firsthand experiences, to investigate the complex language of bodies, especially across cultural divides. Paying particular attention to the effect of body-to-body transmission, and how culturally constructed processes of transmission influence our sense of self, Hahn argues that the senses facilitate the construction of "boundaries of existence" that define our physical and social worlds. In this flowing and personal text, Hahn reveals the ways in which culture shapes our attendance to various sensoria, and how our interpretation of sensory information shapes our individual realities. A DVD (included) provides visual examples.
About the Author:
Tomie Hahn is an associate professor in the department of the arts at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
About the Author
TOMIE HAHN is an associate professor in the department of the arts at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. A performer and student of Japanese dance since the age of four, she has been awarded natori— the professional stage title of Samie Tachibana—from the Tachibana School in Tokyo.
Table of Contents
List of illustrations ix
A note on names and media xi
Introduction-sensual orientations 1
Moving scenes-history and social structure 23
Unfolding essence-energetic sensibilities and aesthetics 41
Revealing lessons-modes of transmission: visual, tactile, oral/aural, & media 70
Transforming sensu-presence and orientation 146
What People are Saying About This
“As the Western scholarly literature on Japanese arts continues to burgeon, Tomie Hahn's reflexive approach to transmission is both significant and needed. She offers a window into an important means of communicating culture.”
“Hahn’s focus on the body and somatic knowledge opens up the world of Japanese dance in utterly new ways. The poetry of her writing highlights the dynamic links between sensual experience and ethnographic practice.”
"Hahn's focus on the body and somatic knowledge opens up the world of Japanese dance in utterly new ways. The poetry of her writing highlights the dynamic links between sensual experience and ethnographic practice."
Deborah Wong, author of Speak It Louder: Asian Americans Making Music