Carmen Tórtola Valencia (1882–1955), who may have reinvented herself as Spanish, made a flamboyant contribution to early modern dance in Spain, Western Europe, and Latin America between 1908 and 1930.
Her rapport with Spanish modernismo enabled her elevation from a music hall and musical theater performer to a solo concert dance artist with a large repertoire of classic, Oriental, and Spanish numbers. Tórtola Valencia’s career particularly flourished in the Hispanic world, while elsewhere she cultivated the figure of the exotic Other.
This according to “Early modern dance in Spain: Tórtola Valencia, dancer of the historical intuition” by Iris Garland (Dance research journal XXIX/2 [fall–winter 1997] pp. 1–22). Below, photographs of Tórtola Valencia and her exotic costumes.
Related article: Loïe Fuller’s serpentine success
Launched by Intellect in 2012, Performing Islam is the first peer-reviewed interdisciplinary journal about Islam and performance and their related aesthetics. It focuses on the sociocultural, historical, and political contexts of artistic practices in the Muslim world.
The journal covers dance, ritual, theater, performing arts, visual arts and cultures, and popular entertainment in Islam-influenced societies and their diasporas. It promotes insightful research of performative expressions of Islam by performers and publics, and encompasses theoretical debates, empirical studies, postgraduate research, interviews with performers, research notes and queries, and reviews of books, conferences, festivals, events, and performances.
Below, UNESCO’s introduction to the semā ceremony of Turkey’s Mevlevi order.
Sponsored by the Performing Arts Medicine Association, Bibliography of performing arts medicine is a free online resource that focuses on the health problems of instrumental and vocal musicians, dancers, and actors.
The bibliography provides citations from the medical, musical, and popular literature, with emphasis on clinical problems and relevant basic science in performing arts medicine. It can be searched by author, title, publication, or keyword, and searches can be limited to music, acting, or dance.
Related article: Music and medicine
Launched in 2010 by the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance at the University of Limerick, Inbhear: Journal of Irish music and dance is a free online journal devoted to these performing arts as they are “relevant to Ireland, the Irish (wherever they may be), or perceived to be of Ireland or the Irish.”
The journal’s Editorial Board comprises faculty members and researchers from the Academy. The inaugural issue, edited by Niall Keegan, includes articles on Irish traditional fiddling, musical style, and step dancing.
Launched in 2009, Journal of dance & somatic practices (ISSN 1757-1871) is a peer-reviewed journal that explores the relationship between dance and somatic practices, and the influence of this body of practice on the wider performing arts. In the words of its editor, Sarah Whatley, the journal aims “to provide space for debate around moving, thinking, and writing, and to offer a celebration of the somatic epistemology that underpins important developments in dance and movement practices that have emerged and found purchase in recent years, whilst also acknowledging the challenges that this brings for all those engaged in the work.”
Although they rarely focus directly on music, articles in scholarly dance journals are often important sources for music researchers. Ethnomusicologists regularly find that their work intersects with that of ethnochoreologists, and music historians increasingly turn to publications by dance historians for information on choreographers, performers, and productions, from the court of Louis XIV to the Ballets Russes to music videos.
RILM is currently working to complete its coverage of three leading dance journals—Dance research, Dance chronicle, and Dance research journal.
Sruti: India’s premier magazine for the performing arts (ISSN 0970-7816) is a Chennai-based magazine. While its primary focus is the South Indian Karnatak music world and its related dance traditions, most issues include at least one article devoted to the North Indian Hindustani tradition; it also carries occasional features on Indian folk traditions. Sruti tends to concentrate on events in recent musical life and profiles of current—and occasionally past—performers. RILM focuses on covering the latter, including the former only when sufficient historical interest is indicated.
Research-based contributions from the independent scholar Sriram Venkatakrishnan (writing under the name Sriram V) are often included, providing notes on important persons or places in the history of the Karnatak tradition. Another regular contributor, S. Sankaranarayanan, writes philatelic reports on Indian stamps depicting musical subjects—a type of music iconography.
Music magazines fly under the radar for many scholars, but they are often the most reliable sources for information about current performers and repertory. Providing interviews, biographical details, and information about works and performances, these periodicals fill the information gap that precedes the publication of scholarly studies on these topics, and they are less likely to perpetuate errors than unconfirmed Internet sources.
Sometimes these magazines also present research that may not be oriented toward making a scholarly point, but may still prove useful for scholarly projects; examples include surveys of the output of small record labels, the musical life of a city, or the history of an institution.
Music magazines covered by RILM include selected publications for Western music and popular music as well as those devoted to less mainstream genres such as blues, world music, and Indian performing arts.