📖: Phil Chan’s (with Michele Chase) Final Bow for Yellowface (2020)
🍸: cozy cocoa
Why this book?
Merry Christmas everyone! 🎁 🎅🏽 🦌 One of my favorite holiday traditions is going to the ballet to watch The Nutcracker because it brings me fond memories of my performing years! 🩰 Since I can’t see it live in theatres this year, I’ll be watching virtual performances instead (ask in the comments or email me for recommendations).
I also just got myself a copy of Phil Chan’s Final Bow for Yellowface, which documents the author’s work in shifting the conversation on race and representation in classical ballet – particularly in the context of the “Chinese Tea Dance” in Act II of The Nutcracker. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for versions of this dance to include elements like conical hats, fans, dragons, folded hands, and shuffling feet movements as a caricature of Chinese representation. This is one of the several problematic dances in Act II that are based on outdated stereotypes of different nationalities. (Arabian coffee? Spanish chocolate? Russian candy canes? WHY?!)
I’m excited to dive into this book and learn more about the work that Final Bow for Yellowface is doing to make ballet more inclusive. As an Asian dancer, I want to see classical ballet repertory become less reliant on using orientalism as an avenue for awe and entertainment. Ballet has lasted over 500 years, evolving along the way. We don’t need to maintain ballet’s racist legacy to preserve its tradition.
Why this drink?
It’s Christmas so I’m drinking a spiked cocoa with this book, with Nutcracker music in the background. 😉 How do you like your hot chocolate? Minty? Spicy? Or just plain?
This recipe is from Celebrating Sweets blog’s Homemade Hot Chocolate.
1 oz dark spiced rum
1 cup milk
1 tbsp cocoa powder (unsweetened)
1 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp chocolate chips
1-2 drops vanilla extract
marshmallows or whipped cream
optional: crushed candy cane bits / stick or ground cayenne pepper
- Heat all ingredients, except chocolate chips, over the stove until warm (not boiling).
- Add chocolate chips and whisk until melted.
- Serve with marshmallows or whipped cream. You can add crushed candy cane for a mint cocoa, or sprinkle some cayenne pepper on top for a spicy kick.
Finished the book? What did you think about it? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!