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Performing Palimpsest Bodies

Postmemory Theatre Experiments in Mexico

This book proposes the innovative concept of palimpsest bodies to interpret provocative theatre and performance experiments, exploring issues of cultural memory, history, transgression, and community transformation. Combined with ideas of postmemory and rememory, palimpsest bodies are inherently trans-temporal as they perform re-visions of embodied gestures, vocalized calls, and sensory experiences.
Focusing on four projects from one of Mexico’s most significant contemporary theatre companies, La Máquina de Teatro, directed by renowned artists Juliana Faesler and Clarissa Malheiros, this study documents the rigorous performances of layered, plural, and trans identities as collaborative, feminist, and queer re-visions of official histories and collective memories, using ideas of scenarios, archives, and remains. Illustrated with over 100 color photos, Performing Palimpsest Bodies will appeal to artists and scholars interested in contemporary theatre and performance studies, critical dance studies, and collective creation.

290 pages | 364 color plates | 7 x 9 | © 2019

Culture Studies

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"[Hellier-Tinoco] offers an in-depth look at La Máquina de Teatro, documenting and analyzing four of the company’s recent projects. . . . By shining a spotlight on La Máquina, Hellier-Tinoco through her book also calls attention to what she characterized as the 'profound and exhilarating' performance and theater happening throughout Mexico more broadly."

The Current

"The book is unconventional in format and methodology, but it serves a greater purpose by archiving and presenting the work of La Máquina de Teatro to an English-speaking audience that otherwise might not have encountered the group or its pieces. With well over 300 color photographs . . . this book presents the work of the Mexican theatre company in a way that is accessible to scholars, artists, and students."

Jimmy A. Noriega, Latin American Theatre Review

"In this study, Hellier-Tinoco examines four performance projects created by Mexico's La Maquina de Teatro, each exploring and experimenting with transtemporality, collective memory, and the palimpsest bodies of history. . . . Hellier-Tinoco provides a close reading of each performance, exposing thematic resonances of history, memory, and coporeality through her analyses of performance methodology, staging, and audience interaction."

TDR: The Drama Review

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