Friday, May 2, 2008

Exhausted but Enjoying Myself

Today and tomorrow, I am participating in a symposium entitled "Indigenous LIteratures and Other Arts", hosted at the University of Oregon (yes, enemy territory!!). My conversation partner, Tanya Lukin-Linklater, and I were the first presenters. We talked about performance, with an eye to what performance art and/or anthropology can contribute to literary studies. I think our "conversation" went fairly well. I presented first, particularly talking about "traditional" singing and dancing traditions and how, for me, they are inextricably intertwined with story, art, kinship, politics, economics, religion, humor, etc. In other words, a dance is not just about dance, but instead ties into religion, humor, kinship, inter- and intra-village politics, etc. I showed some short film clips from King Island, performed a dance, and watched a snippet of the Wolf Dance. Then, my partner, Tanya, who is Alutiiq and a performance artist, talked about her own work and the process of how she creates her own dances, based upon a more formal, western training in dance, but drawing upon her own traditions. Then, we talked about things like "tradition" and "authenticity" and change in tradition through time.

Other participants are from New Zealand and from other indigenous nations. They're all very nice and the whole atmosphere is informal but revolving around interesting questions about art, literature, dance, story. So, it's fun!! But I'm exhausted! I hope I get a good night's sleep tonight .. . good night!


jeanne said...

Congrats on what sounds like it was a great presentation! And frankly, anything that involves dance has GOT to be good, no? (Btw, if you have any good music or fiction recs, feel free to send them my way! But only if you have the time. No pressure.)

Dee said...

Hi NYC Jeanne,
Everyone said that the presentation went well . . . but I'm not sure it if steered the conversation in ways that our organizer wanted them to go. It was still fun, though and I'm glad we went first because then I was able to hang out and relax the rest of the week-end. I'll start thinking about music or fiction recommendations . . . hope you get yourself a massage prior to chemo - it will help.