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Review of The Festival Performance - Theatre and Ritual of Nepal.pdf

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576 Book Reviews ter, though it is nowadays promoted as ‘Korean traditional opera’” (pp. 173– 174). Killick provides analysis on the four classic p’ansori stories and shows how the stories are concerned with the theme of foreign penetration and resis- tance at the bodily and/or national level. He suggests this theme extends its treatment in a number of newly composed ch’anggŭk operas. For Killick, the “national” status of ch’anggŭk encourages a reading that resists penetration at
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  576 Book Reviews ter, though it is nowadays promoted as ‘Korean traditional opera’” (pp. 173–174). Killick provides analysis on the four classic  p’ansori   stories and shows how the stories are concerned with the theme of foreign penetration and resis-tance at the bodily and/or national level. He suggests this theme extends its treatment in a number of newly composed ch’anggŭk   operas. For Killick, the “national” status of ch’anggŭk encourages a reading that resists penetration at both the bodily and national levels (p. 175).Killick’s conclusion addresses the globalization of Korean traditional art and suggests that ch’anggŭk   will be better received overseas “by evoking a traditional quality in the acting and stagecraft as much as in the music and texts that are performed” (p. 218).Though insightful, In Search of Korean Traditional Opera   does not give close explanation of the genderedness of ch’anggŭk  , especially on the issue of cross-gender acting in  yŏsŏng kukkŭk  . Nor does Killick analyze the performance space or the “choreography.” Were the corporeal gestures and movement of the performers rehearsed beforehand, or was there room for improvisation?That said, Killick provides a useful reexamination of ch’anggŭk  , espe-cially in his account of “looking at different phases in the history of ch’anggŭk   and different discourses about that history to see how both have played a role in shaping ch’anggŭk  ’s relationship to tradition” (p. xxvii). Killick also does the significant work of questioning ch’anggŭk  ’s readily accepted myths by call-ing attention to ch’anggŭk  ’s ancestry in the controversial context of Japan’s colonial legacy.  Areum Jeong UCLA  LA FÊTE-SPECTACLE: THÉÂTRE ET RITE AU NEPAL (The Festival Per-formance: Theatre and Ritual of Nepal). By Gèrard Toffin. Paris: Editions de la Maison des sciences de l’hommes, 2010. Paper  € 21.85. This text mines the author’s ongoing anthropological fieldwork since the 1970s in Nepal on the Newari Indra Jatra, the most important festival of Kat-mandu. Toffin analyzes the festival’s roots in Hindu kingship, related to the  Vedic god Indra. Toffin shows the ways in which other cults are woven into the event dedicated to Indra. This includes both the cult of Kumari (Devi, represented by the “living goddess,” a prepubescent girl of the Shakya clan) and Bhairava (an angry manifestation of Shiva, the most important deity of the Newars). These deities are interpolated into the older festival dedicated to Indra. Toffin maintains that the whole festival is “theatre” in the broad sense of the term. The events combine Vedic Hindu, Mahayana Buddhist, and colo-nial and postcolonial political features in this eight-day event. Early chapters review anthropological theories of ritual as theatre. Toffin sees links to Indian dramatic theory of the Natyasastra   as well as pat-terns of South Indian rituals of kingship. Toffin relates the central event of the festival—setting up a pole dedicated to Indra—to the myth of the creation of  Book Reviews  577 drama in the Natyasastra  : the episode in which Indra beats back the demons  with his banner staff. This archaic myth has, Toffin postulates, until recently, been reactivated in relation to Nepali royal power. He acknowledges that with the fall of the monarch in 2008 changes may take place. The author conceives of the whole city as the theatrical space/stage and notes how the ritual focuses on and culminates in front of the main palace of the Malla kings (twelfth to eighteenth century), whose very names often were variations on the name of Indra. Their rites were later perpetuated by the later dynasties that succeeded the Malla.The carts on which the Buddhist Kumari (living goddess) and repre-sentatives of other divine powers tour the city, Toffin compares to  jatra,  pro-cessional performances of Bengal. He sees a religiopolitical ideology embod-ied in the processional display. Throughout the book, the author points out correlations between Nepali practices that could be seen up to the twenty-first century and old Indian models. The patterns, not the particulars, are, he argues, the same.For scholars interested in theatre per se the most useful chapter is the sixth, which gives specific information on actual theatre display, including the use of masks and puppets in performances. For the time of performances, dancers are considered repositories of the divine power (see pp. 100ff.). Bhai-rava, Kumari, and Candi (Devi) are the major masks regularly presented. Dis-cussion of  jhyalinca or  putali (marionettes) are also included. Data on what happens when and where for processions and ceremonies is given.Folklorization and touristification of these performances are more recent phenomena (see pp. 154ff). Though the author discusses these trends his focus is toward the past and ritual sources of the activities. Toffin’s attempt to link these rites to Greek Dionysian worship (pp. 118–119) remains conjectural. Readers will find this text useful for understanding Nepali royal his-tory and the use of myth in reinforcing kingship. While the focus is on the rites and their political and social implications rather than on the specific performance(s), dancers, and theatre apparatus, this is a valuable resource for those interested in Nepali ritual theatre and will interest scholars of Sanskrit theatre and Indian ritual practices. Kathy Foley University of California, Santa Cruz  THE DANCING WORD: AN EMBODIED APPROACH TO THE PREPA-RATION OF PERFORMERS AND THE COMPOSITION OF PERFOR-MANCES. By Daniel Mroz. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2011. 219 pp.This work starts (chapters 1 and 2) with the author’s personal reflection on the nature of his artistic tools, including his early introduction to the Suzuki piano technique and, later, martial arts, which he shares with directors, actors, and dancers in creating performances. Wushu   (“martial method” in Manda-  Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited withoutpermission.

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Jul 23, 2017

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Jul 23, 2017
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