When Kumbhakar Swallowed a Dead Dog : A Diasporic Rendering of the Reamker
Date of Award
Master of Fine Arts (MFA)
College of the Arts
Theatre and Dance
Thesis Sponsor/Dissertation Chair/Project Chair
Part performance, part lecture-demonstration, and part modern ritual, When Kumbhakar Swallowed a Dead Dog is a postmodern interpretation of an episode of the Reamker, the Cambodian version of the Indian epic Ramayana. In this written thesis, I lay out the foundational material for my work, consisting of a summary of the epic’s narratives and interpretations pertaining to its structure and symbolism, as well as an overview of three major dance theatre forms in Cambodia: shadow puppet theatre (sbaek thom), all-male masked dance-theatre (lkhon khol), and classical court dance (robam kbach boran). An account of the methodology employed and creative process follows, in which I include influences related to the contemporary climate change crisis, black and white cinema, and my experiences studying Cambodian dance theater forms. I conclude with a description and a short analysis of the performance, its impact on audiences, and relevance for my current choreographic practice.
Phuon, Emmanuele, "When Kumbhakar Swallowed a Dead Dog : A Diasporic Rendering of the Reamker" (2020). Theses, Dissertations and Culminating Projects. 501.
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