[Blueboard] IPC-DSA invitation: VRA Lecture on Dancing to the Sound of Empire: Consuming Popular Music in 1920s Manila

ipc ipc at admu.edu.ph
Thu Feb 28 09:24:27 PHT 2013

The Institute of Philippine Culture and Department of Sociology and
Anthropology, School of Social Sciences


cordially invites the community to a lecture on


Dancing to the Sound of Empire: Consuming Popular Music in 1920s Manila




Fritz Schenker

PhD Candidate, Ethnomusicology

University of Wisconsin, Madison

IPC Visiting Research Associate




18 March 2013 (Monday)

4:30 to 6:00 pm

IPC Conference Room

Rm 203, Frank Lynch Hall

Social Development Complex





During the 1920s, Manila was awash in the sounds of U.S. popular music.

Numerous local stores sold the latest American records and local musicians
performed the newest hit songs. Audiences largely consumed music in a public
and active manner though dance, performing their consumption at a variety of
venues, including the popular Lerma, San Juan, and Santa Ana cabarets. At
these cabarets, Americans, Europeans, and Filipinos consumed the latest U.S.
jazz by engaging in dance steps they learned from Hollywood films, newspaper
articles, and private instructors.


My paper examines both the practices and the meanings of this consumption of
popular music in 1920s Manila. Manila's cabarets, in particular, were
important sites for the dissemination of popular music and as spaces for
public negotiations of imperial ideologies. Male dancers at cabarets, for
example, could hire Filipina *bailarinas* for a dance or more, engaging
directly with the racial and gender hierarchies of empire, which rested on a
logic of white supremacy. By exploring the widespread presence of popular
music in 1920s Manila and focusing on the practices of jazz consumption, I
argue that the seemingly innocuous act of dancing to Tin Pan Alley tunes was
a public performance of, and a bodily engagement with, ideas of empire
concerning race, domestic arrangements, and modernity.



*For inquiries please call local 4651*213 or e-mail ipc at admu.edu.ph


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