New book examines Pilipino Cultural Nights

January 21st, 2010  |  by  |  Published in Research News

book cover The Day the Dancers Stayed

A new book by Mānoa Associate Professor of American Studies Theodore Gonzalves, The Day the Dancers Stayed (Temple University Press) offers a critical look at Pilipino Cultural Night performances.

Pilipino Cultural Nights are elaborate productions of folkloric performances with music, costume and dance and theatrical narrative, produced, choreographed and performed by Filipino college students. Pilipino Cultural Nights have become rites of passage for many students, even as they serve as history lessons wrapped up in a politically and socially charged night of entertainment.

Gonzalves argues that such performances represent a desire—knowingly or unknowingly—for a different accounting of time, “versions of the past that counter official Philippine and U.S. state narratives.” His work is based on extensive interviews as well as participant observer techniques.

The Day the Dancers Stayed is available now from Temple University Press and at

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