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Performing “The Other Side of the Island”

Performing “The Other Side of the Island”

(p.134) Chapter 4 Performing “The Other Side of the Island”
American Aloha
Heather A. Diamond
University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter examines how performance became a site of contestation and negotiation once performers inhabited the carefully crafted site and narrative of the Hawaiʻi program. Focusing on performers' experiences in and perceptions of the Hawaiʻi program, it shows how the dynamics of resistance, complicity, and collaboration play out in institutionally backed ethnographic display. It describes how the planning through production phases of the Smithsonian Folklife Festival (SFF) influenced its casting, staging, and choreography and culminated in the performance phase. It argues that much of what performers and staff found memorable about the SFF transpired out of the public eye, mainly backstage and behind the scenes. That is, spontaneity arose at the Festival, instigated by participants, more in the program's seams than onstage.

Keywords:   performance, contestation, negotiation, Hawaiʻi program, resistance, complicity, collaboration, Smithsonian Folklife Festival, spontaneity, participants

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