Performing Southeast Asia: Performance, Politics and the Contemporary is an important reconsideration of the histories and practices of theatre and performance in a fluid and dynamic region that is also experiencing an overarching politics of complexity, precarity and populist authoritarian tendencies. In a substantial introductory essay and essays by leading scholars, activists and practitioners working inside the region, the book explores fundamental questions for the arts. The book asks how theatre contributes to and/or addresses the political condition in the contemporary moment, how does it represent the complexity of experiences in peoples’ daily lives and how does theatre engage in forms of political activism and enable a diversity of voices to flourish. The book shows how, in an age of increasingly violent politics, political institutions become sites for bad actors and propaganda. Forces of biopolitics, neo-liberalism and religious and ethnic nationalism intersect in unpredictable ways with decolonial practices – all of which the book argues are forces that define the contemporary moment. Indeed, by putting the focus on contemporary politics in the region alongside the diversity of practices in contemporary theatre, we see a substantial reformation of the idea of the contemporary moment, not as a cosmopolitan and elite artistic practice but as a multivalent agent of change in both aesthetic and political terms. With its focus on community activism and the creative possibilities of the performing arts the region, Performing Southeast Asia, is a timely intervention that brings us to a new understanding of how contemporary Southeast Asia has become a site of contest, struggle and reinvention of the relations between the arts and society. Peter Eckersall The Graduate Center City University of New York Performing Southeast Asia – with chapters concerned with how regional theatres seek contextually-grounded, yet post-national(istic) forms; how history and tradition shape but do not hold down contemporary theatre; and how, in the editors’ words, such artistic encounters could result in theatres ‘that do not merely attend to matters of cultural heritage, tradition or history, but instead engage overtly with theatre and performance in the contemporary’ – contributes to the possibility of understanding what options for an artistically transubstantiated now-ness may be: to the possibility, that is, of what might be called a ‘Present-Tense Theatre’. C. J. W.-L. Wee Professor of English Nanyang Technological University Performing Southeast Asia examines contemporary performance practices and their relationship with politics and governance in Southeast Asia in the twenty-first century. In a region haunted historically by strongman politics, authoritarianism and militarism, religious tension and ethnic strife, the chapters reveal how contemporary theatre and performances in the present reflect yet challenge dominant socio-political discourses. The authors analyse works of political commitment and conviction, created and performed by Southeast Asian artists, as modes and platforms of reaction and resistance to the shifting political climates that inform contemporary life in urban Southeast Asia. The discussions center on issues of state hegemonies and biopolitics, finance and sponsorship, social liberalism and conservatism, the relevance of history and tradition, and globalisation and cultural practice. These diverse yet related concerns converge on an examination of the efficacies of theatre and performance as means of political intervention and transformation that point to alternative embodiments of political consciousness through which artists propose critical options for rethinking the state, citizenship, identity and belonging in a time of seismic socio-political change. The editors also reframe an understanding of ‘the contemporary’ not simply as a temporal adjective but, in the context of present Southeast Asia, as a geopolitical condition that shapes artistic and performance practices.
Essays on Southeast Asian Performing Arts
Author: Kathy Foley
Publisher: University of California International &
Mutual borrowing, fluid transactions and transformations of performances and performers have a long and enduring history in Southeast Asia, but this trend has been heightened and made more vivid in the contemporary period. The omnipresence of global communications has provoked and inspired yet more novel experiments and collaborations between cosmopolitan artists and globally-oriented performers. This volume offers vital insights into recent developments in Southeast Asian performance. It demonstrates the ways in which contemporary artists and performers are increasingly working betwixt the traditional boundaries of the nation and discourses of identity. The essays collected here are testament to ongoing conversations and relations among scholars, practitioners and scholar-practitioners in Southeast Asia and around the world.
Modern Asian Theatre and Performance 1900 Â? 2000 is a ground-breaking survey, tracking the advent of modern drama in Japan, India, China, Korea and Southeast Asia. It considers the shaping power of realism and naturalism, the influence of Western culture, the relationship between theatrical modernisation and social modernisation, and how theatre operates in contemporary Asian society. Organised by period, nation and region, each chapter provides: Â·a historical overview of the culture; Â·an outline of theatre history; Â·a survey of significant playwrights, actors, directors, companies, plays and productions. With contributions from an international team of scholars, this authoritative introduction will uniquely equip students and scholars with a broad understanding of the modern theatre histories of Asia.
Nations in Southeast Asia have gone through a period of rapid change within the last century as they have grappled with independence, modernization, and changing political landscapes. Governments and citizens strive to balance progress with the need to articulate identities that resonate with the pre-colonial past and look towards the future. Puppets and Cities: Articulating Identities in Southeast Asia addresses how puppetry complements and combines with urban spaces to articulate present and future cultural and national identities. Puppetry in Southeast Asia is one of the oldest and most dynamic genres of performance. Bangkok, Jakarta, Phnom Penh, and other dynamic cities are expanding and rapidly changing. Performance brings people together, offers opportunities for economic growth, and bridges public and private spheres. Whether it is a traditional shadow performance borrowing from Star Wars or giant puppets parading down the street-this book examines puppets as objects and in performance to make culture come alive. Based on several years of field research-watching performances, working with artists, and interviewing key stakeholders in Southeast Asian cultural production-the book offers a series of rich case studies of puppet performance from various locations, including: theatre in suburban Bangkok; puppets in museums in Jakarta, Indonesia; puppet companies from Laos PDR, the National Puppet Theatre of Vietnam, and the Giant Puppet Project in Siem Reap, Cambodia; new global puppetry networks through social media; and how puppeteers came together from around the region to create a performance celebrating ASEAN identity.
The Republic of Korea's global expansion has been mirrored by its interest and presence in Southeast Asia. From trade, investment, aid, tourism, to the cultural "Korean wave", its various roles have blossomed and its influence has grown. The ASEAN region has not only affected Korean foreign policy, but also many aspects of Korean life, from the migration of Southeast Asian industrial workers to marriages and the curricula of academic institutions. This volume explores various aspects of these...