Engaging and Educational.
A combination of social history, cultural study, and memoir, I have read few books that are able to unite these disparate strands of writing in such an engaging package. Dr. Beatriz Dujovne brings a psychologist’s eye to her study of people, an historian’s sensitivity to the interpretation of archival documents, and an insider’s awareness of cultural practices unique to porteño culture to craft a poetic and intellectually satisfying introduction to the history of the dance and its relationship to the city of Buenos Aires.
After reading In Strangers’ Arms, my recent trip to Buenos Aires came alive. The chapters discussing specific areas of the city were especially informative, revealing significance in features that I initially noticed only peripherally, such as the dress of street performers, the attitudes of waiters, and the architecture of neighborhoods. Dr. Dujovne’s discussion of La Boca and San Telmo, in particular, helped me appreciate the city much more, and I am certain that my next trip will be all the richer for it.
In Strangers’ Arms stands to be of value to any discipline–be it Latin American studies, musicology, ethnomusicology, dance history, anthropology, etc.–interested in the connections between culture, art, and society.