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Alkazi Theatre Archives

A Bibliographic Listing From The Archive

Modernization of Asian Theatres: Process and Tradition

Book: Modernization of Asian Theatres: Process and Tradition
Edited by: Yasushi Nagata and Ravi Chaturvedi (English)
Published by: Springer, 2019

An outcome of a cross-cultural exchange, in forms of discussions and papers submitted by 19 members of a study meeting (March, 2014) held by IFTR Asian Theatre Working Group in Osaka, this anthology is centred around six themes —”training, translation, the cultural exchange, the role of the female, tradition, and modernization” — among Asian countries, comprising of Japan, South Korea, China, Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, the Philippines, and India.

The essays from this volume elucidate the conflict between tradition and modernity — while the process of modernization modelled the superstructure or the outward realms of socio-political formations through bureaucratic constitutions and scientific progressions, traditions constituted societal and cultural canons. This twin process challenged the modernisation process in Asian countries, where performative traditions adapted to, as well as challenged Western concepts and forms. The book is a collective chronicling of country specific experiences of the process of modernization that happened alongside the rise of the ideas of the nation-state and the consequent imperialist expansions of the West and Japan over Asia, during the late nineteenth and the twentieth centuries. Each paper in this volume illustrates comparative case studies of region-specific traditional theatre and its response, in both acceptance and resistance, to modernization.

“Most of the modernization of Korean theatre occurred during the Japanese colonial period under promotion by imperial government. Hence, there was always subconscious resistance to the modernization because of the thought that modernization was westernization and westernization was anti-Korean…the modernization was compulsory in the age of imperialism. The modernization of theatre was not an exception. Theatre people always thought of integrating Korean traditions into modernized theatre” (pg.38)