“Symposium on Performing Arts of Southeast Asia” Featured Adjacent to Our Bali Study Tour


By Brenda Pugh McCutchen
Dance Curriculum Designs LLC
December 16, 2013


balinese synchrocity

Billboard, Pedangtegal, Ubud, Bali copyright 2013 VP Yockey

Time is said to be the enemy of the dancer: there are so few prime years to perform.  Therefore, it is good to periodically search out the uncommon dance experiences that shift our gears and thrust us, reinvigorated, into new directions.  As we mark off another year, perhaps we long to explore new worlds of dance that are completely out of the ordinary so as to shake off some of our habitual patterns. We look for dance that is profoundly enriching as well as the kind that stretches our world view of dance.  It is time to get serious about venturing into magical forms of dance with hypnotically entrancing movements and spell-binding music —the kind of dance whose ancient roots are deeply embedded in its culture. Those are the reinvigorating kind.

If you are ready to fly off to worlds unknown for something like this, here are two suggestions.


One is the “Study Tour of Dance in Bali” which Dr. Veronica Yockey and I lead from May 27-June 13, 2014.


The other is the performing arts symposium which Dr. Marcia Lloyd asks that I tell you about.  (Dr. Lloyd1, professor emeritus from Idaho State University, teaches dance education and dance for children at the University of Malaysia.  She is also a valuable link to Southeast Asian dance community.)  She and I believe this symposium will be stimulating.  We also believe it to be a great way to follow up the “Study Tour of Dance in Bali” to include performing arts from other Southeast Asian countries.


The symposium’s timing is a perfect example of “Balinese Synchronicity.” Our “Study Tour of Dance in Bali” ends in Bali’s capital, Denpasar, on June 13 and the “Symposium on Performing Arts of Southeast Asia” begins on June 14–also in Denpasar.   What synchronistic timing.


It was serendipity that I went to Bali, Indonesia again this year to retrace my earlier steps there and to visit my teachers and mentors. That’s when I knew I had to offer the dance community access to them and to that rich culture again, like I have done in the past.  Thus, my colleague and I (both experienced leaders of studies abroad) will lead a handful of inquisitive, adventurous souls there in 2014 to soak up the culture, traditions, and ceremonies which are at the heart of its artistic life. Our teachers and guides are eager to share their expertise through unforgettable technique classes and repertory as well as their insights into the culture and the nightly performances. It will satisfy my colleague and me to introduce you to these incredibly warm, gifted, generous people so you get to know them and form your own friendships there, too.  It will also satisfy us to pass the joy of Balinese dance to you and through you to the next generations.  It is a powerful experience.  Learn more about the (“Study Tour of Dance in Bali”) on this site.


Perhaps you want to share that with one of your dance colleagues from elsewhere.  Let them know about it and see if that will be your time to also reconnect with them and break out into new directions together.  Sometimes it is good to have someone to share life-changing experiences such as these.


The symposium which Dr. Marcia Lloyd alerts us to is also a bit of serendipity—and as stated earlier, quite synchronistic.  By the start of the symposium, our Study Tour participants will have become well-versed in the Balinese culture and its many arts—and especially dance literate.  What an uncommon opportunity it would be to add such a symposium to the trip in order to explore the broader performing arts of Southeast Asia!  See the official announcement details below, noticing the extension trip to Lombok following the Symposium if you are interested in more.  [Lombok is Bali’s neighboring island.])  It is certainly good to know about these options before our airline ticket purchase for the Study Tour.


Note: The symposium is not included in the “Study Tour of Dance in Bali” and is in no way connected to its program, price, or planning.  Advise Dr.Yockey if you intend to stay for the symposium at the time you register for the “Study Tour of Dance in Bali” so all travel arrangements may be coordinated to accommodate it.  Knowing in advance also allows us to arrange your smooth transfer from the Study Tour to the Symposium.  


Highlights of what Marcia Lloyd shares with us:


14-20 JUNE 2014
Indonesian Institute of the Arts (ISI) Denpasar, Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia

The 3rd Symposium of the ICTM Study Group on Performing Arts of Southeast Asia (PASEA) will be hosted by the Indonesian Institute of the Arts (ISI) Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia. This Symposium will officially open on 14 June 2014 in conjunction with the opening of the Bali Arts Festival, which features a full month of daily performances, handicraft exhibitions and other culture-related activities from throughout Indonesia.


The PASEA Symposium will feature several paper presentations, panels and a film showing. A cultural excursion day for PASEA attendees will include the hands-on experience of a kecak workshop led by the GEOKS performance group/studio and visits to nearby workshops of mask (topeng) makers, wayang puppet craftsmen and other artists, a visit to a gamelan factory and to the Setia Darma House of Masks and Puppets, culminating with a stop at a well-known outdoor market featuring paintings and crafts of Bali as well as commercial goods.


The Tentative Schedule is: June 13 (Friday)–Registration; June 14 (Saturday)–Opening of Symposium, and Sessions; June 15-16 (Sunday-Monday) Sessions; June 17 (Tuesday) Excursion; June 18-19-20 (Wednesday-Friday) Sessions and Closing on Friday afternoon. All paper/panel/film sessions in this Symposium will take place in the newly completed seminar facilities of the Gedung Serba Guna multipurpose building on the ISI campus located along Jalan Nusa Indah in Denpasar (www.isi-dps.ac.id).


A tentative Post-Symposium cultural tour is being planned to Lombok to visit sites and performances by the Sasak community and will take place immediately after the Symposium in Denpasar. The tentative date is from Saturday June 21 to Monday June 25. More information on this Post-Symposium tour will be provided in the next announcement on local arrangements forthcoming in late December.


The 2014 Symposium’s major themes form the basis of the presentations and discussions, also papers on new research. The major themes are:


I. Interculturalism and the Mobility of Performing Arts in Southeast Asia
Throughout the history of Southeast Asia, people have moved across the region, bringing with them their music, dance and theater. Trade, colonialism, religious evangelization, and transnationalism have promoted the diverse flow of the arts, for example, the circulation of Muslims and associated music/dance genres in Southeast Asia, early exchanges between the courts of Yogyakarta and Siam, the presence of gong chime ensembles throughout insular Southeast Asia, the current pop music scene, and so on. Southeast Asian music and dance have also been displayed in world’s fairs in Europe, North America, and other countries. What happens when the performing arts move across the regions or continents? What are the reception and the impact of the performing arts in question in their new cultural space? How do people, musicians, dancers and other artists represent cultural difference and appropriation? These are some of the pertinent questions that would challenge us to explore the kind of transformations that take place when the performing arts travel outside their home country, in the past and the present.


II. Sound, Movement, Place: Choreomusicology of Humanly Organized Expression in Southeast Asia

This theme opens a platform for a rich description of the various aural and visual elements involved in Southeast Asian performing arts. Cross-modal relationships between sound and movement have deep implications for the way we perceive objects, moving bodies, color and sonic events among others. The interactions between sound and movement are not always congruent even though the two mediums may co-habit the same space. Analyzing the convergence and divergence of sound, movement, and place is crucial to an understanding of the emotional, perceptual, and affective features of humanly organized expression. In music, dance, puppetry, and other movement arts, the variable relationships between sound and movement reveal characteristics of performance traditions housed in culturally organized social contexts. This theme brings attention to multisensory experience, the interactions between sound and movement, the field of metonymic relationships between music, dance, and space in Southeast Asian societies.



III. New Research (all topics).

While English is the official language of this symposium, the official language of the host country is Indonesian and papers may be presented in Indonesian with English language Powerpoint and Abstract, and a detailed Outline of the presentation in English to be handed out at the time of the session.


For PASEA members who are interested in starting a sub-study group focusing on a specific theme or topic, please select a chair or spokesperson and write up a brief description of your proposed sub-study group, noting the rationale and any projects that can be earmarked by the group at the time of your proposal. Submit your proposal for the particular sub-study group to the Chair of this Study Group at email: pmatusky@gmail.com   Your proposal will be included at the Study Group Meeting for discussion and consideration for approval. If you are interested in joining one of the existing sub-study groups, please contact the following sub-study group Chairs: Mohd. Anis Md. Nor (anisnor55@gmail.com) for ‘Performing Arts of the Muslim Communities in Southeast Asia’, and Lawrence Ross (Lawrence@um.edu.my) for ‘Studies of Performance in Royal Contexts in Southeast Asia’.


All registration fees and other information on hotels and so on will be announced by the Local Arrangements Committee. Visitors who wish to attend this Symposium will be able to do so according to instructions forthcoming in December by the Local Arrangements team.


The Program Committee for this Symposium is Tan Sooi Beng, Chair (Malaysia), Lilymae Montano (Philippines), Ako Mashino (Japan), Sumarsam (USA), R. Anderson Sutton (USA), Bussakorn Binson (Thailand), Tan Shzr Ee (UK), Paul Mason (Australia).


If you are interested in joining the Symposium, please inform the Chair (pmatusky@gmail.com) and see the main ICTM website for membership information at www.ictmusic.org


Dr. Patricia Matusky, Chair, ICTM Study Group-PASEA, pmatusky@gmail.com


Update from Dr. Matusky 3-9-14:  The Programme Schedule for this Symposium is now posted on the Study Group’s website at: sites.google.com/site/PASEAStudyGroup  (under ‘Study Group Symposia’ click on‘Symposium 2014 (3rd)-Final Program’).