April 10, 2014
by fatsodoctor

Asian Performance in UK Universities


A consortium of UK academics, working in the diverse fields of theatre, dance and ethnomusicology, come together for the first time in this unique, multidisciplinary, roundtable discussion on the future of Asian theatre, dance and music in the UK HEIs.

Date & Venue: 17 May 2014:  Centre for Creative Collaboration, 16 Acton Street, London (WC1X 9NG)


Asian Performing Arts Forum, Centre for International Theatre and Performance Research, Royal Holloway, University of London

Theatre, Consciousness & Asian Performance Research Group, University of Lincoln

Centre for Dance Research, University of Roehampton, London


Keynote Speaker: (TBC)

Asian performance research and pedagogy play a significant role in the UK HEIs. Asian theatre, music and dance, particularly the classical forms originating from East, South-East and South Asia, have been ‘visible presences’ in the curriculum of a number of university drama and theatre departments in the country, either in all three years of the degree or as an option or part of an option for a specific year (Thorpe 2009; Meduri 2005, 2010). Asian forms, practices, practitioners and productions are also studied in the contexts of intercultural theatre, world music and world dance, potentiating a vibrant and dynamic ‘space’ for theoretical and practical enquiry into what we think about performance today.

Earlier generations of scholars looked at Asian performance practices anthropologically or as tools for performer training or root sources of the international avant-garde, investigating and reframing an exploratory language and a performance vocabulary while today, increasingly, Asian arts and artists are framed within discourses of globalization and travelling cultures.

For a reasonably lengthy time of five to six decades in the past, the HEIs in the UK hosted and preserved some of the excellent moments of this encounter with Asian performance. The creation of actor training methods; innovative production approaches; emergence of new academic disciplines such as performance studies, theatre anthropology, ethnomusicology, theatre & consciousness and world dance; recent publication of research monographs and edited anthologies and journal special issues on a wide range of topics related to Asian performance, intercultural and diasporic theatre, music and dance (Barba, Blacking, Brown, Chatterjee, Cohen, Coldiron, Cooley, Daboo, Dadswell, David, Furse, Grau, Haney, Hingorani, Kapsali, Ley, Li, Lloyd, Madhavan, Malekin, Martin, Meduri, Meyer-Dinkgräfe, Mitra, Merriam, Morcom, Nair, Nettl, Pavis, Post, Prickett, Purkayastha, Rice, Schechner, Seeger, Stobart, Tan, Thorpe, Yarrow, Yoo, Zarrilli et al.) all helped the HEIs in the UK becoming leading producers of new knowledge in the field of Asian performance.

The understanding of the history of practice and a genealogy of concepts emanating from the encounter with Asian performance raises a number of questions that are currently relevant and the roundtable proposes to address the following issues in terms of Asian research, pedagogy and performance practice in the UK HEIs:

·         What kind of concerns, issues and possibilities does Asian performance research and pedagogy raise in the current scenario in UK HEIs?

·         How ‘visible’ are the people who are currently active in the field in the UK HEIs?

·         How and in what ways will Asian practice enable the enhancement of the psychophysical, tactile and cognitive capabilities of the par-takers of drama and theatre in the UK HEIs—what are the new approaches and applications?

·         Can the study of Asian performance express transnationalism? Reflect localism? Highlight, or even critique, globalisation? Or do students interpret Asian performance as a neo-colonial impulse, the introduction of an island nation to the Other?

·         What sort of postgraduate training is needed in order to support and produce the next generation of world-class researchers?

·         What ethical principles might be agreed upon by academics in order to interrogate, enhance or disrupt global circulations of Asian performance?

·         What new futures can be imagined for Asian performing arts research within the new benchmark standards set by AHRC’s recent ‘Techne’ initiative?

·         What is the future for Asian performance in UK HEIs; what are the new challenges and opportunities that Asian scholars, researchers and students grapple with the UK HEI’ sector today?


3.00 Introduction: Dr. Sreenath Nair, University of Lincoln

3.10-3.40 Keynote: (TBC)

3.40 Consortium Roundtable:

Professor Matthew Isaac Cohen, Royal Holloway, University of London

Dr. Arya Madhavan, University of Lincoln

Dr. Ashley Thorpe, Royal Holloway, University of London

Dr. Avanthi Meduri, University of Roehampton

Dr. Shzr Ee Tan, Royal Holloway, University of London


4.30 Responses

Professor (Emeritus) Ralph Yarrow, University of East Anglia

Professor Keith Howard, SOAS


4.50 discussion by participants

5.20 summing up: Professor Daniel Meyer-Dinkgräfe, University of Lincoln

5.30 end


All welcome!

For more information about the Consortium Round-Table and confirmation of your attendance please contact: Dr. Sreenath Nair, University of Lincoln: snair@lincoln.ac.uk

April 9, 2014
by fatsodoctor

Asian Art & Performance CFP

Call for Papers and Presentations
International Symposium

Shifting Dialogues III
Documenting Asian Art and Performance: Embodied Knowledge, Virtuality & the Archive
December 3-5, 2014 University of the Arts, Helsinki

The Asian Art and Performance Consortium (AAPC) of the Academy of Fine Arts (Kuva) and the Finnish Theatre Academy (Teak) of the University of the Arts Helsinki will jointly host a symposium focused on documenting and archiving Asian and trans-cultural performance and fine arts.

Documentation preserves traditional and contemporary forms, and it establishes a body of knowledge for future scholars and the local communities of practitioners. Yet documentation and mediation also tends to spectacularize and reify performance and art traditions, and it can also lead to their de-contextualization and expropriation. Public memory, now primarily held “in-state” as silicon-based documents in archives, libraries and museums, is at times in conflict with historical memory held by audiences who were present at particular events. In the case of ephemeral art forms, or practices of daily life, these disparities and the problems of mediation are of particular importance. These disparities and resource sharing across cultures form the areas of focus of this symposium.

In Asian performance, transferring knowledge bodily from teacher to students, from one generation to another is a common practice. Thus the performer’s body and oral transmission function both as repertoire of embodied practices, and as an ephemeral archive that preserves, modifies and transmits those practices from one generation to another. Different iconographic materials, including temple reliefs and canonical treatises, have also preserved ephemeral traditions through centuries. Filmed and electronic documentation of the traditions has further increased the amount of available data.

The research under this topic will focus on the relationship of cultural artefacts to memory, discrimination, censorship and social agreements around memorialization and the construction of Asian ‘canons’.

We will also ask:

  • What is the impact of media on art and performance works documented, and how does documentation change the significance or reception of significant cultural artefacts?
  • How do we avoid the performance documentary becoming the site where “mediocrity can play a hero’s part?” as Marx put it. Are some performances undeservedly preserved when they would be better off decaying naturally in the audience’s collective mind? Are we surrounding ourselves by the mixed remnants of past failures and successes, leading to a loss of the ability to accurately assess the quality of ephemeral acts?
  • Can archival procedures be more productively and strategically designed as an active cultural construction, rather than assumed to function as a passive repository for technical recall or social memory?

Issues that can be raised at the symposium include embodied, iconographic and electronic transfer of performance traditions in Asia related to live performance and traditional pedagogies, as well as the use of moving image, photography, web-based presence and new media, historical and theoretical writings, the construction of archives, museums and libraries.

This is the third and final symposium organized under the Shifting Dialogues – Asian Performance and Fine Arts research project, funded by the Academy of Finland in 2011-2014. The symposium is free of charge. Presentations reflecting practice-based artistic research are encouraged.

DEADLINE for proposals is 2 May, 2014. Decisions will be confirmed by 20 May 2014.

For the purpose of creating an interactive symposium, with a high level of response and discussion of all presentations, we have set a deadline for completed papers: 24 November 2014.

TO SUBMIT proposals please provide the following by the deadline to teak.aapc@uniarts.fi

  • abstract of 250 words with low resolution images or directions to on-line video as needed
  •  short bio of 150 words
  •  attached cv
  • mode of presentation and any special technical or space requirements

We regret that we are unable to provide scholarships for presenters.

April 9, 2014
by fatsodoctor

AAP 2014

Registration for the 2014 Association for Asian Performance Conference is now open.  You can register online by clicking the “AAP 2014″ link on the AAP web site (www.yavanika.org/aaponline), or by going directly to www.yavanika.org/aapmembership .

You can use the same links to join AAP or to update your membership.

A program of 2014 Conference activities is on the way!

April 1, 2014
by fatsodoctor

NUS: Tenure-Track in Theatre Studies

Faculty Appointment in Theatre Studies

The Theatre Studies Programme in the Department of English Language and Literature at NUS invites applications for the post of Assistant Professor (tenure track). Outstanding candidates with teaching and research interests in any area of Theatre and Performance Studies are encouraged to apply, with applications especially welcome in the areas of theatre history, modern drama, applied theatre, cross-media performance, and contemporary Asian performance. Employment will commence in January 2015.

Candidates should have a Ph.D. in Theatre, Performance or Dance Studies, and a developing record of international publications and research activity. The appointee will be expected to teach core undergraduate modules in theory and practice, to attract and supervise graduate students, and to contribute decisively to the research profile of the Programme.

The appointment reflects growth in both student numbers and the commitment to research in Theatre Studies at NUS, the oldest and largest university in the cosmopolitan Southeast Asian city-state of Singapore. It is consistently ranked amongst the top universities in the world, and the Department of English Language and Literature is one of the best in Asia. Established in 1992, the Theatre Studies Programme is one of three sections in the Department (along with English Language and English Literature). It currently has eight full-time faculty members, who teach a broad-based curriculum covering theatre, performance and screen culture. Close links are maintained with the vibrant local theatre scene in Singapore, and current research focuses on the theory and practice of contemporary performance in the Asian region and beyond. At the undergraduate level, Theatre Studies is offered as a Major and a Minor, as well as a ‘breadth’ option for interested students from other programmes. Our graduate research community is growing, dynamic and highly international.

NUS expects the highest standards of teaching and scholarship from its faculty.  In return, it offers excellent terms and conditions. There is considerable support for research, including grants for research projects, conference money and a very well funded library.  Salary will be commensurate with experience and level of appointment.

Information about working in NUS and living in Singapore is available at http://www.nus.edu.sg/careers/potentialhires/index.html. The Department website can be found athttp://www.fas.nus.edu.sg/ell/index.htm.  For additional information, email enquiries can be sent to: ellhead@nus.edu.sg.

Applications should be made by letter and CV.  Please provide:

• full details of publications (including theses and dissertations) and a sample of publications or writing (maximum three items)
• teaching and administrative experience
• awards, other achievements
• photocopies of transcripts/degree scrolls
• copies of student evaluations of courses taught
• course outlines of courses taught
• names, addresses (including email) of 3 referees

The package should be sent by post to
Professor Lionel Wee
Head, Department of English Language and Literature
National University of Singapore
Block AS5, 7 Arts Link
Singapore 117570

Alternatively, this can be sent by fax to +65 6773 2981 or by email to ellhead@nus.edu.sg.

The closing date for application is 15 May 2014.

Only shortlisted candidates will be notified.

Dr Paul Rae
Graduate Coordinator, Theatre Studies, National University of Singapore
Associate Editor, Theatre Research International

Dept of English Language and Literature, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences,
National University of Singapore, Blk AS5, 7 Arts Link, Singapore 115570

March 24, 2014
by fatsodoctor

SEA Performing Arts: ASEASUK

Southeast Asian Performing Arts: Tradition in Modernity

Convenors: Dr Margaret Coldiron (University of Essex) and Professor Matthew Isaac Cohen (Royal Holloway, University of London)

A panel at the 28th annual ASEASUK conference in Brighton, 12-14 September 2014


Southeast Asia’s many traditions of music, dance, drama, comedy, puppetry, masquerade and storytelling are valued as resources for contemporary performance and media, as heritage for local and translocal consumption, symbols of nationhood, and for promoting tourism. Yet audiences for many traditional arts are declining and fewer young people seem interested in putting in the hours required to master performance idioms. There is enthusiasm for locally-inflected rap music in Burma, ‘animal pop dance’ in Indonesia, karaoke pop versions of mor-lam in Thailand and other hybrids around the region, but how long will such forms endure if their roots wither? This panel considers performance in Southeast Asian modernity with reference to both traditional and tradition-based arts. Suggested topics include: shifting structures of sponsorship and strategies for audience development; the role of heritage organisations and arts academies in transmitting the arts; exporting traditional and tradition-based performance; reconceptualization of the arts from living traditions to cultural industry; tourism and the performing arts; post-traditional performance practices; Southeast Asian diasporas and the performing arts; and other aspects of tradition and modernity in performance. We hope the panel will provide a platform for scholarly reflection as much as engaged cultural activism, and thus invite contributions from scholars as well as practitioners and cultural curators and administrators.

Abstracts (250 words) plus a short bio (150 words) are due 31 March 2014. Please send to Margaret Coldiron mcoldi@essex.ac.uk and/or Matthew Cohenmatthew.cohen@rhul.ac.uk .