By: Ipshita Rajesh
Excerpt: Stories have always fascinated me. The Indian epics, Ramayana and Mahabharata are neither black, nor white and it is this characteristic that lends them beautifully to retellings and interpretations. Not only are these stories a great source of material for art works, but also help one reflect.
Dasharatha, the king of Ayodhya, had four sons borne to him by his three wives - Rama from Kaushalya, Bharata from Kaikeyi, and Lakshmana and Shatrughna from Sumitra. Being the eldest,
Rama was the obvious heir to the throne. But Manthara, Kaikeyi’s maidservant, poisoned her ears, arousing jealousy. Kaikeyi now wanted her son Bharata to be crowned king, so she demanded of Dasharatha two boons that he had promised her earlier - first, that Bharata be crowned, and second, that Rama be exiled for fourteen years, and Dasharatha had no choice but to yield.
Instead of being happy, Bharata was saddened by this news, since he respected and loved his elder brother Rama dearly, and hated to see him go. While Rama was away, someone had to look into the affairs of the kingdom, and so it came to be that Bharata was the pseudo-king, ruling according to the principles of Rama, and took inspiration from a pair of Rama’s padukas (1) that he had placed on the throne.
Being suppressed during the times of Kemal Ataturk in Turkey the practice of whirling dervishes was revived in 1956 and from then the Turkish Government permitted an annual celebration at Konya or a week of whirling which culminates each year on the Mawlana Jalal al-Din Rumi’s death on December 17th. A man who founded the practice of whirling and is considered to be a man of wisdom, spiritual master, and the most highly regarded poet-philosopher in Islam. In 2005 Mevlevi Semâ Ceremony was proclaimed by UNESCO as an Intangible Cultural Heritage. It enhanced the role of Semâ Ceremony not only in the Turkish society but in the whole world making the whirling dervish as a symbol of nation state. Over the period of time Semâ was transformed from closed ritual ceremonies in dergah (monasteries) into big shows performed in stadiums attracting thousands of tourists. On December 17, 2015 owing to Şebnem Sözer (Cohort 1 alumnae) I had an opportunity to watch this mysterious and spectacular ritual performance. Together with Şebnem we watched it on the last day of the annual 10-day commemoration of the death of Mawlana Jalal al-Din Rumi.
The time came. Same place, four years later. Where it all began. The first Choreomundus cohort met there, so did the next four generations. Our Choreomundus family has expanded and we only want it to grow from here. The first Choreomundus Alumni Conference took place August 26-28 at NTNU, Trondheim, and it was fabulous!!!
It makes me very happy to remember that during all of our activities and rehearsals as well as during the final performances, our games and exercises always consisted of a sense of community and groupness, division of roles and responsibilities, and audience participation. Our goal was for our group to become bigger and bigger everytime we visited the schools and more and more children would learn the songs and rhythms we had prepared for them. During our 3-day projects, we aimed at letting the children's voices to be heard, while making sure that every individual had the responsibility to send the message that the refugee crisis and primarily child-refugee rights and needs must be taken seriously into consideration by governments and should be a subject of discussion among all family members of a household.
It Takes A “Real” Man To Follow Like A Man: A note on gender roles reversal in Argentinian tango dancing
In line with my general research interests, I am currently conducting an independent research focusing on the possible effects of the bodily knowledge acquired through Argentinian tango dancing on non-Argentinian practitioners’ perception of self, others and the environment. The planned multi-sited fieldwork is still in its early stages and it started in Beirut - Lebanon.
A few days ago, a tango dancer, teacher and community leader in Beirut shared a video on his personal Facebook page featuring a tango performance where the Argentinian dancing couple is reversing roles.
dance | her | his | story - LAPSody Live Art and Performance Studies Festival, Helsinki, 27-30 May 2015
A (retro)perspective by Signa Schiavo-Campo
Premise – Choreomundus is a two years long International master in Dance Knowledge, Practice and Heritage. It is part of the Erasmus Mundus MA programs financed by the European Union. The master looks at movement systems and practices (dance, rituals, martial arts, physical theatre, games, etc.) through the lens of different approaches, such as ethnochoreology and anthropology of movement, and includes a focus on intangible cultural heritage and safeguarding tools and plans. Choreomundus was run for the first time in 2012 with a first group, cohort 1.
Performance Review By: Brian Jay de Lima Ambulo (Philippines)
On 17th of October 2015 at Móra Ferenc Museum, Szeged - Hungary, a collaborative performance between members of Choreomundus cohort 3 took place.
“There can be no bond stronger than that between a mother and child. Her love is the sunshine and rain that nurtures her little sapling. Devastation follows, if her sapling is uprooted, leaving her destitute.”
By: Pascha Jirasakwittaya
The latest durational performance by the internationally acclaimed artist Marina Abramović called ‘Private Archaeology’, is currently being exhibited at David Walsh's Museum of Old and New Art in Hobart, Australia (June-Oct 2015). Abramović selected nine objects from the MONA collection, which she called ‘Power Objects’ – objects from different cultures and ages. As re-exhibited in a new space and time, she challenges visitors to rediscover, rethink and even reinterpret the values and meanings of these objects. In addition, Private Archaeology also includes the artist’s 41 works, both recognisable and lesser-known works across her 40 years of observation and communication upon objects, artist body, the presence of audience and exhibition space.
CHOREOMUNDUS ALUMNI INVOLVED IN THE MAIDEN EDITION OF THE HERITAGE THEATRE SERIES TO BE STAGED IN GHANA
By: Baffour Awuah
Eric Baffour Awuah, an alumni of the first Choreomundus cohort and Miss Sena Atsugah an MFA in dance candidate at the School of Performing Arts, University of Ghana direct the dance sections of the first ever Heritage Theatre Series in Ghana. The Heritage Theatre series is an artistic attempt of re-enacting the history of Ghana from ancient to modern times through a series of choreographies and plays. The first production, entitled Wogbe Jeke: The Birth of a nation, is scheduled for the 4th of July at the National Theatre of Ghana. The play will tell the story of Ghana from the migration and settlement of major ethnic groups through to the periods of slave trade, colonialism and the struggle for independence. The play ends at the declaration of independence by the first president of Ghana Osaagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah.
A few months before our Master Programme was concluded, we and our mates from cohort 1 decided to carry on with the peculiar activities of our Choreomundus group through creating an Alumni Association. What we were mainly attempting to do was to conserve and to strengthen the transnational network that Choreomundus had created. A network of experiences made of dialogical and practical sharing of dance. Our main hope was to re-create the possibility for transnational conferences on dance studies in general and dance anthropology in particular, as well as for transnational, multicultural dance workshops and performances.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in all posts are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the association or the MA program.