ASIAN 373 - The Performing Arts in South and Southeast Asia
Section: 001
Term: FA 2010
Subject: Asian Studies (ASIAN)
Department: LSA Asian Languages & Cultures
Requirements & Distribution:
With permission of instructor.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

This course introduces aspects of performance in South and Southeast Asia through focusing on the epic, The Ramayana. Focusing on India, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia, we will examine performances of the epic in dance drama, masks, puppet theater, film and television. As background, we will look at depictions of this story in ancient South and Southeast Asian sculpture, temple murals and bas-reliefs, and we will examine an ancient Indian aesthetic theory (in the Natyasastra). Though we focus on one epic, we enter a rich plural world that stretches back in time several millennia to the earliest written version of The Ramayana by Valmiki (parts of a translation of which we will read) and extending to the many interpretations of the story and performance genres in South and Southeast Asia. Starting with an explanation of how oral traditions work and readings on the theory of performance studies, the course will explore three important dimensions of performance: sound, image and event. Our aim is to better understand South and Southeast Asian performance conventions and how these conventions relate to the way people understand and enjoy performances. This course provides an understanding of ways that performers and spectators in this part of the world create, approach and understand performance and it challenges students to review their own assumptions about performance through approaching the phenomenon of performance somewhere else. The course also gives a grounding in The Ramayana, which for the past two millennia, has been among the most important literary and oral texts of the world. Providing insights into many aspects of South and Southeast Asian cultures, this ancient Indian epic poem continues to be a viable vehicle for expressing profound human sentiments in modern South and Southeast Asia.

ASIAN 373 - The Performing Arts in South and Southeast Asia
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
MW 11:30AM - 1:00PM
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