I offer special thanks to the mentors, colleagues, family and friends who supported me during the duration of this degree.

To David Shorter for his interest in my ideas, constructive criticism, theoretical guidance, and for reminding me of the value of topic sentences. To Al Roberts for teaching me that by examining what people create I can come to understand them better. To Don Cosentino for introducing me to post-modernism and critical theory, and for validating my interest in popular culture. To Steve Aron, for indulging my amateur interest in U.S. history and guiding me toward a more thorough understanding of cultural expansion and national development. To Behroze Shroff, for enriching my encounter with post-colonial theory, literature, and film. To Peter Sellars for inspiring me to make this work an act of love.

To the Graduate Division of UCLA for awarding me both a Graduate Research Mentorship Fellowship and a Summer Fieldwork and Archival Research Fellowship. To the Department of World Arts and Cultures/Dance for the unparalleled community that it is.

To the many friends and colleagues who kindly cared for my children while I scratched out time for studying and fulfilled my apprenticeship duties: Waewdao Sirisook, Cedar Bough Saeji, Mathew Sandoval, Amanda Harrison, Edy Pickens Levin, Sarah Blahut, Hannah Rothblatt, Youn Mee Woo, John Orcutt, Amy Schwartz, Adam Battaglia, Jennifer Musi, Rahel Woldegaber, Carolina San Juan, Sabela Grimmes, Kingsley Irons, Eva Ayamami, Allison Wyper, and Nguyun Nguyun.

To the Collard family and the Camp Trinity community, who welcomed my family to the Bar 717 Ranch where much of this dissertation was written. To the Hyampom Arts Magnet School whose staff educated my children while I occupied their library and wrote.

To my parents who never doubted any of my abilities and always encouraged me to follow my interests and dreams.

To my husband Jeff for his devotion and constancy as we journey together.