Woman and Dance in Kuwaiti Cinema

PhD Thesis


AlSheridah, N. 2019. Woman and Dance in Kuwaiti Cinema. PhD Thesis University Of East London School of Arts and Digital Industries
AuthorsAlSheridah, N.
TypePhD Thesis
Abstract

This thesis uses ideas of the male gaze, as defined in the feminist film theory of Laura Mulvey, and dance theory to explore the representation of women and the use of dance in Kuwaiti cinema. The male gaze theory was coined by Mulvey in her 1975 essay ‘Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema’, in which she focused on the various situations where females are asymmetrically and unequally portrayed in film. Erin Brannigan’s dance theory, as used here, focuses on the communicative, emotional, physical and artistic aspects of the medium of dance in film as a forum for human interaction and expression within specific oeuvres. The interrelationship of film and dance theories is paramount to this study as these theories help to identify and understand the representation of women and the use of dance in Kuwaiti cinema. This thesis argues that the correlation between the male gaze theory and dance theories provides a significant strategy for highlighting the portrayal of women and the use of dance in Kuwaiti cinema.
This thesis consists of a written and a practice component. The first acts as a guide to the latter. The written component maps the historical background of Kuwaiti cinema in relation to the representation of women and their dances. It also offers an outline of the feminist film and dance theories of Mulvey and Brannigan that I have used with the aim of investigating how women are represented and how dance by women functions in Kuwaiti cinema.
The practical component is a documentary film about dance in Kuwaiti cinema. The film comprises archives, commentary and interviews that state the point of view of the interviewees as they discuss the reality of female representation and dance in Kuwaiti cinema. Furthermore, the documentary also establishes how Kuwaiti film censorship policy affects these elements.
The argument discussed in this thesis is that the Kuwaiti films analysed here deploy the male gaze, as defined by Laura Mulvey and other feminist film theorists, but, because of the strict film censorship policy in Kuwait and the country’s traditional and religious outlook, this male gaze has been adjusted to historically specific parameters so as to ensure that the representation of women and dance in Kuwaiti cinema is appropriate to Islamic culture and the customs and traditions of Kuwaiti society.

Year2019
PublisherUniversity of East London
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.15123/uel.873q0
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License
File Access Level
Repository staff only
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File Access Level
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Publication dates
PrintSep 2019
Publication process dates
Deposited30 Oct 2019
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https://repository.uel.ac.uk/item/873q0

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