This essay "Gender Issue in Asia Performance" has envisaged investigating how Balinese women, performing theatre in Bali, are at an interface of tradition and eclecticism, while for western women performers of Bali, this barrier is non-existent…
The Balinese traditional theatre is a highly ritualistic performance form with all kinds of beliefs, myths, traditions and spiritual experiences associated with it. This is why Artaud (1995) had observed that “our (Westerners’) purely verbal theatre […] could learn a lesson in spirituality from Balinese theatre” (p.301). On the other hand, the Western theatre had largely been evolved out of the rural and folk traditions as early as from the beginning of twentieth century (Turner, 2011, p.68). Turner (2011) has discussed this phenomenon by saying, “developments from the twentieth century onwards in Western theatre practice have often demonstrated an eclecticism that has led to a pick and mix theatrical culture” (p.68). This is manifested in terms of intercultural influences on the Western dance and theatre traditions. Another aspect of Western performances has been the comparative gender-neutrality of it as a whole, when it comes to characterization and casting, which can be attributed to a social structure that has accepted gender equality as its proclaimed ideal. A strong feminist theatre has also been present in the West as early as from 1960s onwards.But in an Asian country like Bali, it is the rituals and traditions that rule almost all the classical dance and theatre forms. And it has been as an extension of the patriarchal social tradition that women were not allowed to perform the traditional dance drama, Topeng, which is mostly about the “exploits of male heroes"....
hen it comes to characterization and casting, which can be attributed to a social structure that has accepted gender equality as its proclaimed ideal. A strong feminist theatre has also been present in the West as early as from 1960s onwards (Code, 2003, p.471). But in an Asian country like Bali, it is the rituals and traditions that rule almost all the classical dance and theatre forms. And it has been as an extension of the patriarchal social tradition that women were not allowed to perform the traditional dance drama, Topeng, which is mostly about the “exploits of male heroes who are usually involved in a struggle for power” (Slattum, Schraub and Geertz, 2003, p.20). Gender-bending in Balinese theatre has been a topic of interest for many researchers and social observers (Palermo, 2009; Ballinger, 2005). Challenging the predominance of female impersonators in Balinese performing arts, women began to enter the traditional theatre realm in the beginning of the twentieth century but the number of women performers were very limited (Diamond, 2008, p.231). But by the end of twentieth century, the situation has changed to such an extent that: There were all-male arja (classical Balinese operetta) troupes and two women’s mask troupes. Today, there are all-women gamelan groups in every regency and a wave of women performers staging ‘unconventional’ theatre and dance (Ballinger, 2005). Even before the large scale entry of Balinese women performers into Balinese traditional theatre, there were many Western women who learned these dance forms like, Tiffany Strawson, Carmencita Palermo and Jane Turner (Theatre firefly, 2010/11; Palermo, 2009, Turner, 2011). Palermo (2009) has narrated her experience of becoming a Topeng performer and has said, “when I first began my ...
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“Gender Issue in Asia Performance Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 1750 Words”, n.d. https://studentshare.net/gender-sexual-studies/43590-gender-issue-on-asia-performance.
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