Learning a performance form like noh or wayang kulit requires practice, practice, and more practice. But all of that practice provides insight into the different “practices,” as articulated by Pierre Bourdieu, which constitute the society surrounding the performance. Aesthetics relate to social values and hierarchies. In this presentation, I will draw from my own experiences learning and performing Japanese noh and Balinese wayang kulit in order to highlight the dynamic social and cultural dimensions of these performances and examine “tradition” as embodied in practice.
Jennifer has received many grants and fellowships for her performance work and research on Asian performance, including a Fulbright grant to Indonesia to research women and traditional performing arts in Bali and a Mellon Innovating International Research, Teaching, and Collaboration award to research puppetry and national identity in Indonesia and Cambodia. Jennifer has presented at national and international conferences, and has published in Asian Theatre Journal, Theatre Journal, Puppetry International Magazine, and has a couple of chapters in edited books. She is currently finishing a monograph tentatively titled, Women in the Shadows: Gender, Puppets, and the Power of Tradition in Bali. In New York City and regionally she has worked extensively as a director and teacher with a special emphasis on new plays and physically based performance. She has combined Asian theatre into innovative productions of The Ghost Sonata, The Bacchae, and others. Jennifer is a consecrated dalang and has performed wayang kulit in Bali, New York, Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky and Indiana. Jennifer teaches world performance, performance studies, and Asian theatre for the Department of Theatre and Drama at Indiana University and is a Faculty Research Curator at the Mathers Museum of World Culture.