Over the past fifty years national dance companies from Turkey, Egypt, Mexico, Greece, the former USSR and Croatia have dominated concert stages throughout the world. Anthony Shay makes coherent sense of these national programs, which have previously received scant academic attention. Specifically, he looks at the ways through which these companies spread political, ethnic and cultural messages by accruing symbolic and cultural capital for their respective nation-states. In his analysis, Shay draws on cultural studies, political science and anthropology to create a work that cuts across disciplines. As the first book to address the topic of state-sponsored folk dance ensembles and their structures, Choreographic Politics examines the repertoires, performances and choreographic strategies of these companies within the political, social, gendered and ethnic contexts in which each company was created. In addition, Shay's study includes a look at music, costumes, and various artistic directors and choreographers.