Feb. 21: Mathers Museum presents Jennifer Goodlander on Indonesian Puppetry as “Intangible Cultural Heritage”

Wayang-Kulit-PuppetUnderstanding Puppets as Heritage: Performing Objects/Performing Culture

Friday, February 21 | 12:30 – 1:30 pm
Mathers Museum of World Culture
416 N. Indiana Ave, Bloomington, IN 47408

Join MMWC Faculty Research Curator and Theatre, Drama, and Contemporary Dance professor Dr. Jennifer Goodlander as she discussses puppetry as heritage. UNESCO has designated puppetry as “Intangible Cultural Heritage” in several Asian nations, adding to its economic and political relevance. This designation, however, also problematizes the relationship between the tangible objects with the intangible performance. In the museum the objects of performance function as a transatlantic archive of living and changing traditions; likewise the tradition of Asian performance lies within the body and that in order to understand the tradition and how it changes one must engage with the art as performer. In this presentation, Goodlander will explore how the puppet as an object in a museum articulates (past) performances and performs cultural heritage.

The lecture will be free and open to the public.

Jennifer Goodlancer, Theatre, Drama, & Contemporary Dance

Dr. Jennifer Goodlander, Dept.  of  Theatre, Drama, & Contemporary Dance


JENNIFER GOODLANDER is Assistant Professor of Theatre History, Theory, and Literature in IU’s Department of Theatre, Drama, and Contemporary Dance. Her research focuses on Asian performance as it intersects with gender studies, ethnography, performance studies, postcolonial theory, visual culture studies, and transnational circuits of performance.  Her dissertation, with research funded by a Fulbright Fellowship to Indonesia, focused on women and performance in Bali, especially wayang kulit or shadow puppetry.  She is currently revising the dissertation into a book manuscript tentatively called Women in the Shadows: Gender, Puppets, and the Power of Tradition in Bali.  Drawing upon her own experience of the practical training and ritual initiation to become a dalang, or puppeteer, coupled with interviews of early women dalangs and leading artists, she argues that “tradition” in Bali must be understood as a system of power that is inextricably linked to gender hierarchy.

Jennifer is interested in unraveling and exploring connections between scholarship and theatrical practice.  In New York City and regionally she worked extensively as a director and teacher with a special emphasis on new plays and physically based performance.   She combined Asian theatre into innovative productions of The Ghost Sonata, The Bacchae, and others.  She was a member of the 2005 Lincoln Center Director’s Lab that focused on new play development and working in collaboration.  She often shares her research through performances and lectures at theatres, civic groups, and universities and has performed wayang kulit in NYC, Michigan, Kentucky, Illinois, and Ohio.  Jennifer is the Membership and Outreach Coordinator for the Association for Asian Performance (AAP) and Symposium Co-Chair for Practice and Production Symposium of the Mid-America Theatre Conference (MATC).

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Dr. Jennifer Goodlander Receives Mellon Innovating International Research & Teaching Grant

Dr. Jennifer Goodlander performs Indonesian shadow pupper theatre, wayang kulit, at her Alma mater, Ohio University, in September 2011.

Congratulations to Dr. Jennifer Goodlander, Assistant Professor of Theatre History, Theory, and Literature and recent fellowship recipient in the first round of funding to IU Bloomington faculty from the Mellon Innovating International Research and Teaching Grant Program, funded by $750,000 from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Jennifer plans to use her faculty felllowship to conduct field research in Indonesia and Cambodia in Summer 2013, studying how the arts, especially shadow puppetry, functions in the formation of Southeast Asian national identity.

“An IUB Professor Creates—and Performs with—Balinese Shadow Puppets” | Inside IU features Dr. Jennifer Goodlander

Dr. Jennifer Goodlander performs wayang kulit, a form of traditional Balinese shadow puppetry. Goodlander trained in the ancient art while studying for her doctoral degree on a Fulbright Fellowship in Indonesia.

Dr. Jennifer Goodlander, the newest Assistant Professor of History, Theory, and Literature in the Department of Theatre & Drama is this month’s Featured Spotlight in Inside IU, the online news magazine for faculty and staff at Indiana University Bloomington. According to Bethany Nolan’s intimate profile:

“If you’re lucky, [Jennifer Goodlander] will show you one of the brightly colored and intricately carved puppets she’s mastered use of through her studies of an ancient Balinese art form — wayang kulit, or shadow puppetry. … But watch her give an actual performance, and you’ll only see the puppets through a thin cloth screen. That’s because the show — and all the magnificence of those works of art — is meant for the gods. As part of the human audience, your eyes are allowed to see a mere shadow of the story.”

Goodlander became interested in traditional Balinese shadow puppetry while studying for her doctoral degree on a Fulbright Fellowship in Indonesia. Her research there focused on broadly women and performance, but after trying her hand at the ancient art form, her dissertation project shifted to include her own experience learning wayang kulit. Drawing upon her own experience of the practical training and ritual initiation to become a dalang, or puppeteer, coupled with interviews of early women dalangs and leading artists, she argues in her book manuscript (tentatively titled Women in the Shadows: Gender, Puppets, and the Power of Tradition in Bali) that “tradition” in Bali must be understood as a system of power that is inextricably linked to gender hierarchy.

Read more about Jennifer in the Inside IU Spotlight Profile, or on her faculty profile at theatre.indiana.edu.

Prof. Alison Calhoun presents Practice as Research Performance of Scenes from Jean-Baptiste Lully with Jacobs School of Music

Lully: Glory without Love?

Scenes from the operas and comedy ballets of Jean-Baptiste Lully

Saturday, April 21, & Sunday, April 22, at 4:00 pm
Auer Hall (Located on the second floor of the Simon Music Center, 200 S. Jordan Ave.)

Lully Opera Rehearsal

A rehearsal from Lully: Glory without Love?

A Co-production of IU Baroque Orchestra, Pro Arte Singers, IU Ballet Department, and the Early Music Institute
The delights of Jean-Baptiste Lully’s magical dances, airs, recitatives and triumphant marches will be on display in Auer Hall this weekend as the Early Music Institute, Jacobs School Ballet Department and Pro Arte Singers combine forces to present Lully: Glory Without Love?

A rehearsal for “Lully: Glory Without Love?”

With an original script by guest actor Mace Perlman, baroque choreography by guest stage director Catherine Turocy and music direction by Nigel North, the program weaves together scenes chosen from the most poignant moments in the composer’s operas and comedy-ballets Psyché, Alceste, Armide, Atys, Isis, Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme and Bellérophon.

For this production, the Early Music Institute has brought together two outside professionals to work with students on artistic expression specific to the French seventeenth century.

Catherine Turocy, leading choreographer, reconstructor, and stage director in 17th-18th century period performance. | Photo by Beatriz Schiller.

Choreographer and period movement expert Turocy, director of the New York Baroque Dance Company, has worked with ballet students and singers in the art of early French dance, gesture and pantomime. She has also provided a number of elaborate period costumes, which will be used by dancers during this production.

By weaving Lully’s music into one moving story about the impossible tension between love and glory, Perlman has created a staging for the production, with inspiration from the diverse masks of the commedia dell’arte. His collection of Venetian commedia masks will also be featured.

Lully, love and power are three key words that combine to create Lully: Glory Without Love? From the allegory of Glory herself to such diverse characters as Armida, Renaud, Fury and Italian and Spanish lovers; from suicidal scenes, dream scenes, triumphant marches and the wonders of Lully’s passacaille, this production will present what Perlman has called the “many eyes of Lully’s life and art.”

With talented student soloists, a full baroque orchestra, the choral strengths of the Pro Arte Singers, the masterful baroque choreography of Turocy and the commedia dell’arte-inspired staging of Perlman, audiences will be offered a unique and powerful experience that captures the essence of the French baroque.

Nigel North, Music Director
Stage Direction by Catherine Turocy and Mace Perlman
Choreography by Catherine Turocy
Spoken Narration by Mace Perlman
Production Concept, Alison Calhoun

Nigel North, music director
Mace Perlman, stage director and writer/text and language coach/actor
Catherine Turocy, stage director/choreographer/period movement coach
Alison Calhoun, production concept, French diction coach
Paul Elliott Director, Early Music Institute, vocal coach
William Jon Gray, Director, Pro Arte Singers
Juan Carlos Zamudio, Assistant Director, Pro Arte Singers
Sarah Edgar, assistant choreographer
Rachel Fernandez, stage manager

Dr. Alison Calhoun, Department of French & Italian

Dr. Alison Calhoun, Assistant Professor of French & Italian

Alison Calhoun is Assistant Professor of French in IU’s Department of French and Italian. Her research focuses on the cultural and intellectual history of the Renaissance and extends to the 17th and 18th centuries to study genre, reception (theater), and morality. Her approach is interdisciplinary (philosophy and literature, music and literature) and often fits into the categories of history of the book, reception theory, and genre studies. Her forthcoming book, A Transverse Self: Montaigne and the Lives of the Philosophers, situates Montaigne and Diogenes Laertius in the history of life writing in the Renaissance and Classical Age in France.

In Calhoun’s latest research project, Motion and Emotion in Early Modern French Drama, she explores the reading, staging and stagecraft of composite drama (court ballet, machine plays, comedy-ballets, and opera). With key authors like Balthasar de Beaujoyeulx, Honorat de Bueil de Racan, Honoré D’Urfé, Jean Mairet, Pierre Corneille, Isaac de Benserade and Philippe Quinault, she aims to show that the libretto, parallel to and concurrently with the novel, trained readers not only to imagine greater fictional possibilities than before, but also to feel (sometimes to practice) more diverse emotions.

Alison Calhoun on the dramaturgy of French Classical Tragedy

Alison Calhoun is an ACLS New Faculty fellowship recipient and visiting professor in Indiana University’s Department of French and Italian. Now that her end of her fellowship term is approaching, she is competing with her fellow fellows for a tenure track position in FRIT. This job talk is a tool to give her department and the university an idea of her reserach topics, teaching methods, and connection with the university. I imagine it will be ~1 hour lecture with some interaction aimed at an audience familiar with, but not necessarily expert in French/Early Modern Theatre.

Alison is also producing an authentic French Court Ballet with the Early Music Program at IU Jacobs School of Music in April. I find her delightful and highly recommend both events:

Set design for Act 5 of Pierre Corneille's Andromède

A postcard featuring  the set design for Act V of Pierre Corneille’s Andromède as first performed on 1 February 1650 by the Troupe Royale at the Petit-Bourbon in Paris. [1]

“French Classical Tragedy in the Face of Italian Stagecraft: The Case of Corneille’s Andromède”

A job talk by Dr. Alison Calhoun

Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2012 | 4:00 pm
Oak Room, Indiana Memorial Union

Lecture followed by reception

After two overwhelmingly successful Italian operas adorned the Parisian stages in 1645 (La Finta Pazza) and 1647 (Orfeo), Mazarin commissioned Pierre Corneille to write a tragedy in French that made use of Orfeo’s stage machines and also included music.  Although Corneille was willing to work within these constraints, creating a play with undeniably marvelous sets and machines, he refused to make his audience suspend their disbelief to the extent of the Italian dramatists, whose operas appeared to have no regard for the rules of classical drama. In this light, Andromède (1650) is an emblematic example of a play incorporating textual strategies that both attenuate and unify the musical and spectacular elements on stage.

This presentation will illustrate how Corneille appropriated Italian stagecraft in the composition of Andromède without ignoring the rules of verisimilitude and decorum, by textually guiding his spectator to accept greater forms of marvel and spectacle. In the process, Corneille extended the strict limits of classical tragedy and, in a larger context, broadened the boundaries of Early Modern fiction.

If you have a disability and need assistance, accommodations can be made to meet most needs. Please call 855-5458 or e-mail fritdept@indiana.edu.

Dr. Alison Calhoun, Department of French & Italian

Dr. Alison Calhoun, ACLS Fellow in French & Italian


ALISON CALHOUN received her PhD degree from Johns Hopkins University in 2009 and is currently an American Council of Learned Scholars New Faculty Fellow in the Department of French and Italian at Indiana University. Before coming to IU, she was a postdoctoral lecturer at Université de Paris Diderot (Paris VII) and a Visiting Assistant Professor at Pomona College.  She has published on the Tragédie en musique, and has been the Stage Director for three operas. Dr. Calhoun is a candidate for the position of Assistant Professor of French in the Department of French and Italian.

[1] Image from Deierkauf-Holsboer, S.W. L’histoire De La Mise En Scene Dans Le Theatre Francais a Paris De 1600 a 1673. – Paris: Nizet (1960). 165 S., Xx Taf. 4°: French & European Pubns, 1960.

“Neuroscience of Theater” | IU Home Pages features Dr. Amy Cook

Dr. Amy Cook, Assistant Professor of Theatre History, Theory, and Literature.

In recognition of two forthcoming publications this month, IU Home Pages profiled Assistant Professor of Theatre History, Theory, & Literature Amy Cook in their monthly online magazine.

Amy’s essay, “Wrinkles, Wormholes, and Hamlet: The Wooster Group’s Hamlet as a Challenge to Periodicity,” will be published this month in TDR in addition to the republication of her essay “Staging Nothing: Hamlet and Cognitive Science” (previously published in SubStance) as a chapter in an edited volume called HAMLET as a part of Harold Bloom’s Modern Critical Interpretations series.