Bringing “Ecofeminism” and Post Collonialism to Address Ritual and Dancing and the Dancing as Ritual

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014, 07:47 WIB

wedforumIt is interesting to address ritual and dancing in the ways they are complicatedly connected to broader contexts. For instance, by considering political effects of the "international" and globalization to local aesthetics. Accordingly, meanings of ritual and dancing can be explored by questioning aesthetic consumptions and dancing bodies. Furthermore, there are implications of aesthetic of performance in the mediation or translation between the them. In this sense, “ritual dancing consist of language of a symbol in superiable from communication of political claims and in conversation of idea about the rule of women to engage with a common understanding reaffirming the presence of feminine politics in an honorable way.” Thus, ecofeminist and postcollonial perspectives are valuable to address ritual and dancing in relation to the ritual protection of land, water, oil, and all kinds of natural sources. In this regard, the issues of “dancing, ritual, and ecofeminism can be used as a tactic and also as methodological approach in marking bodily engagement with gender politics and ecology tangibility.”

Ecofeminism in this context is a form of appropriation universal context in the legacy of Feminism movement, yet, Larasti argues is an active participation, social change that has been embeded within formation of gender politics and its locality in some places of Indonesia. (i.e: Slamatan/ Kenduri in Madura where the women are core tot he opening a ritual, or where the ritual cant be proceed without certain note of “text/a  pray” ). There are complex connections among the dancing, ritual, and ecology, which are related to socio-politic of being. In this context, the so-called ‘capitalist exchange’ uses natural sources. Accordingly, there is emergence of reinterpretation of value as a use and dance.  Here, there are different implications of how dance as a form of ritual or how ritual as a dancing, which becomes segregated in marking and mapping of their identity as an endless process. Then, we can historicize, so that problematize the process. In this sense, the collonial presence historicly initiated, represented, and influenced the significant changing. Furthermore, the idea of postcollonial thought can strategically reposition and explain this historical phenomena of dancing, ritual, or ritual dancing.

Rachmi Diyah Larasati, Ph.D presented this enlightening topic at the ICRS-CRCS Wednesday Forum on 2 April 2014. Her presentation entitled “Ritual, Dancing "Ecofeminism" and Genealogy of Post Colonial Thought.” Professor Larasati is an Associate Professor of Dance, cultural theory and historiography at Theatre Arts and Dance & Feminist Studies at University of Minnesota, USA. Currently, she is visiting professor at the Graduate School, Gadjah Mada University; IRB, Sanatadharma University and UIN. Formerly, she is a guest faculty at Brown University Critical Global Humanities Research Institute (2011) and Sanatha Dharma University, Yogyakarta (2012), University of Addis Ababa, Ethiophia (2011) and Universidad de Granada, Spain (2011). Her monumental publication is “The Dance that Makes You Vanish” (University of Minnesota Press, 2013). Her current publications including “Crossing the Seas of Southeast Asia: Indigenous, Islam, Diasporic and Performances of Women’s Igal” (Oxford, 2014).

In the presentation, Professor Larasati critically used the word dancing, ritual, and ecofeminism in the title as a tactic and methodological approach in marking bodily engagement with gender politics and ecology corporeality. She argued that her conception of feminism related to the protection of natural sources is a mean as a strategic approach appropriating universal language in order to foreground a very particular view of gender politics. In this context, she examined the pointment of narrative and its value in dance the combination or the reaggrement of dance and ritualistic idea or dance as ritual itself. In this sense, the aesthetic of performance are implicated in the mediation or translation between the two. Here, ritual dancing consist of language of a symbol in superiable from communication of political claims and in conversation of idea about the rule of women into engage with a common understanding reaffirming the presence of feminine politics in an honorable way. In relation to the ritual protection of land, water, oil, and all kinds of natural sources.

She brilliantly considers that transnationalism as a gap of transcending border and reconfiguring alignment to explore dancing performances. Furthermore, “she try to locate performance—the embodiment of dance technique, a mastered bodily code—as a possibility of dissident feminist praxis.” Then, she further investigates and explains political, historical and theoretical issues that she engage with. These issues include certain problems of dance in the contexts of local and global political economies of aesthetics. Then, there is significance of broad networks of alliances, feminist and transnationalism, capitalist mode of production and power structures and desire. She mentioned that “the postcollonial thought, in this title dance, is used to define in looking at the historicity of feminism as a form of social engagement one that is not free from imperial knowledge.” Therefore, we can promote a critical argument that the placement of history and creation of new value from the state of being itself is not really a new process. Moreover, there can be a view that society relies on certain understandings of gender politic.

In the Wednesday forum, Professor Larasati also questioned “the  idea of feminism without borders, as Chandra Talpade Mohanty suggests, made possible through artistic performances and narratives taking place within the global aesthetic. Also meditation through Marta Savigliano’s conception on the issue of “world dance.” In this sense, she presents a dialogic relationship approach to connect between theory and practice in fields of dance studies, ethnography, historiography, and critical theory. In this regard, she paid special attention to the idea of bringing various extractions of natural sources ”where the construction of marginality and representation requires [often] idea of universal to examine local  cultural interference and of so-called “injustice.” She critically argued that “this space of transnationalism has become a competitive place, as “different” being constructed, the shared concern are limited to how language of necessity mediates and what was the one who make the concern able to cross borders.” She calls it “the imagination of the transient border, through ritual, dance technique and performance spaces.” (admin,che)