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Lecture 7

Summary of Lecture 7 readings


Course Code

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Jennifer Liu! Readings Summaries HMU111 2010 Exam
Lecture 7: Indonesia: the Shadow-Play – Wayang Kulit
-wayang kulit: shadow-puppet theatre in Java, extraordinary power
-stories of Indian epics (Mahabharata, Ramayana) have more popularity and prestige
-depict a battle of disturbance of nature, restored to order
-Java: introd comic characters: servants to protagonists, serve as translators
-Javanese have many styles of speech based upon social class
-Semar: chief of clowns, lazy, all-knowing, more important than Hindu god Siva
-entertains audience with wit, wisdom
-all familiar characters in wayang communicate various modes of human existence and
manners of behaviour through actions
-wayang has long been a medium for moral and ethical instruction, discussion of
contemporary events
-dhalang: male puppeteer: thorough knowledge of karawitan (musical rep and practice)
-now dhalangs can learn puppeteering in schools, standardizes wayang stories and skills
A Ramayana Performance Kecak
-Walter Spies: developed kecak into tourist draw
-experience of something exotic, concise, professional, efficient use of time and
-kecak takes its name from the brusque, staccato monosyllables Monkey chant
-shouted by a large chorus of men in rapid and intricately interlocking rhythmic patterns, a
few other men imitate with their voices the sound of a small gamelan
-actor-dancers portray shortened Ramayana
-Sita is abducted by demon Ravana, Hanuman rescues her
-shouting is traditionally associated with rituals of divination: young girls are entranced in
order for questions to be put to the spirits that take possession of them
-Spies suggested using it as the foundation for a concise presentation of the Ramayaa
Jennifer Liu! Readings Summaries HMU111 2010 Exam
Barong: A Trance Dance
-trance ritual adapted as a regular performance medium for tourists
-dramatic presentation accompanied by gamelan gong or kebyar (big gamelan orchestras)
-struggle btw Good (barong: lion) and Evil (witch)
-barong attack the witch with their krises (wavy daggers)
-participants fall into trance from masks?
-barong may be evolving from an organic part of specific Balinese communities to a culture
performance meant to portray their culture for the modern Balinese and outside world
-mediate not just the contact btw human and otherworldly but also btw groups of humans
A Kabuki Appreciation Class
-Japans main popular theatre: dance w/musical accompaniment w/elaborate decorations
-Kabukiza: most famous theatre
-first performance in Kyoto 1594 by females
-govt banned female performance since 1652
-18th c: developed into cultural form for urbanites
-borrowed from other types of theatre and dance: folk, popular
-actor is primarily a dancer, moving towards a climactic posture
-give praise to actors
-trap lifts: bring scenery/ musicians above/below stage
-revolving stages change entire set at once
-Hanamichi: raised runway connecting stage to the rear of the auditorium; addl acting
-degatari: onstage musician group, geza: instrumental sound effects offstage
-chobo: pair of onstage musicians borrowed from the puppet theatre
Jennifer Liu! Readings Summaries HMU111 2010 Exam
-narrator + accompanist on shamisen
-vocalise actors sound effects
-debayashi: coming orchestra are singers and instrumentalists
-hyoshigi: woodblocks announce curtainrise
-4 types of hogaku music are products of Japans most recent ancient peacful
Tokugawa/Edo period
-kabuki theatre and chamber vocal genres developed under their bourgeoisie
-early 1978: future SamulNori quartet quickly revamped and revitalized a familiar,
historical, yet declining rural practise for urban entertainment
-now arguably the most known and well-received traditional music genre
-lots of financial support
-roots of samul nori: performance troupe culture of 18th/19th-c
-1962: govt promulgated Cultural Asset Preservation Law to investigate, preserve, promote
Korean cultural heritage
-financial benefits through govt salaries
-“traditional preservation: artistry in the hands of the govt
-pungmul: rural folk tradition of dance and percussion music accomp.
-early choice for preservation
-numerous performers on: changgo, puk (hourglass, barrel drums), soe, ching (small, large
-amateur: dual performer-onlooker participation
-for events in the agricultural-religious cycle
-abandonment of older social customs: 60s Western concert halls, classical & pop music