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Puppets, Museums, Social Media, and City Spaces: Performing Southeast Asian Identities
Wednesday, February 6; 4:30 – 5:30 p.m.
Jennifer Goodlander, Associate Professor of Theatre, Drama, and Contemporary Dance and Director IU's Southeast Asian and ASEAN Studies Program, will discuss her most recently published book during a lecture that will examines puppets as objects and in performance that make culture come alive.
Puppetry in Southeast Asia is one of the oldest and most dynamic genres of performance. In Puppets and Cities: Articulating Identities in Southeast Asia Goodlander notes puppets in Southeast Asia, perform in many surprising ways--a revolution staged in a museum, Star Wars characters preserving tradition on Facebook, or giant animals parading down the street-
And while Bangkok, Jakarta, Phnom Penh, and other cities are expanding and rapidly changing, 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. Performance brings people together, offers opportunities for economic growth, and bridges public and private spheres.
The lecture will be free and open to the public.
Reimagining Opera for Kids: The Lunchbox Project
Friday, February 15; 10:30 - 11:30 a.m.
A new commissioned work for Reimagining Opera for Kids, The Lunchbox Project, uses traditional music as the setting to explore the many cultures revealed in our lunchboxes. Students' own stories will be integrated into performances, as they will be able to submit poems about their lunchboxes, which cast members will select--and sing!--during the opera.
This interactive experience will create meaningful connections between students as they celebrate the uniqueness, and recognize the similarities, of their cultures. The work is composed by Lauren Bernofsky, Malcolm Dalglish, Rosey Lee, Chris Neiner, Yuriria Rodríguez, and Wilson Shitandi, with Libretto by Alejandra Martinez and Stage Directed by Satsu Holmes.
Reimagining Opera for Kids (ROK) is a non-profit community arts and education organization based in Bloomington, with two goals: to introduce children to opera through engaging first experiences, and to give developing professional musicians the opportunity to hone their performance skills.
The work is appropriate for all ages, but best for elementary students and families. The free performance will be sung in English and will be approximately 25 minutes in length.
Instruments of Culture: Indigenous and Mestizo Instrumental Traditions of Mexico
Thursday, February 21; 4:30 - 5:30 p.m.
How can we be sure an instrument or music is really from the culture it portends to represent? Without firsthand experience, how can we claim to know the identity of a people we have never met? These are questions asked by Nolan Warden, a Lecturer at Purdue University who studies musics of African and Indigenous heritage in the Americas. Warden notes that "In ethnomusicology and related fields, this basic epistemological problem is ostensibly mitigated through ethnographic methods."
"Yet," he says,"ethnography is inextricable from the flows and premises of global capitalism, and as such capitalist motivations seem to permeate the how and why of 'knowing' others through ethnography, paradoxically subverting the very identities being represented."
Warden's talk will present a specific case from historical and ethnographic perspectives on Wixárika (Huichol) culture, utilizing musical instruments found in the Mathers Museum collection and fieldwork conducted in Wixárika communities of western Mexico.
The talk will be free and open to the public, and will be co-sponsored by Mexico Remixed and the Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology.