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Title: Embodying the performative present in the theatre of Melati Suryodarmo
Authors: Kong, Daniel Wei Ming
Keywords: Humanities
Visual arts and music::Performing arts
Issue Date: 2022
Publisher: Nanyang Technological University
Source: Kong, D. W. M. (2022). Embodying the performative present in the theatre of Melati Suryodarmo. Master's thesis, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
Abstract: This thesis reads the work of Melati Suryodarmo, an Indonesian artist whose work blends the genre of dance, performance art, and various traditional practices into a visceral expression of the body and its exertion. I contend that Suryodarmo offers a distinctive modification of ideas of presence and sensation that are at the core of performance art and performance scholarship. Suryodarmo centres the body in her work but does so in a less oppositional manner as compared to her forebears. Instead of enshrining the body and the idea of presence as an inviolable principle, her work emphasises the embeddedness of the body in discursive and cultural contexts that are in themselves — essentially shaped by the sensory nature of human experience. In doing so, Suryodarmo crafts a catalogue of work that invests energy into elevating the artistic present and future of performance, drawing in the body’s experience and its ties to more abstract flows of discourse and culture. The thesis charts out Suryodarmo’s method across the themes of body, space, and representation, using a broad variety of critical approaches that sometimes fall outside what is expected of performance scholarship. This analytical diversity responds to the richness of Suryodarmo’s work and her method, which is unafraid to draw from disparate influences and as such demands a degree of flexibility in how she is assessed as an artist and as an articulator of aesthetic concepts.
DOI: 10.32657/10356/163949
Schools: School of Humanities 
Rights: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC 4.0).
Fulltext Permission: open
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:SoH Theses

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