Type / Thesis

Body Performance and Colonial Trauma in The Tempest

Hsin-chun Tuan

Page / 35-70

Abstract


Adapted from Shakespeare’s play The Tempest, the performance of The Contemporary Legend Theatre stages Sycorax, Caliban’s deceased mother, to embody the trauma the colonizer brought about. By the theatricality of the aboriginal dance, it represents the mother earth of the island and formulates a resistance to the colonizer. This article uses post-colonial feminism to explore the script adaptation and how the theatrical arts represent the text. By adapting the western canon, this performance tells the ancient imperial and colonial story; meanwhile it implies the present local ethnic and political issues in Taiwan. This paper examines the women and the Other in the politics of The Tempest, the representation of Taiwan local issues through stage retheatricalization, and does the performance review in terms of Interculturalism. The “otherness” can be exemplified by the barbarian Caliban in Shakespeare’s play The Tempest. Caliban and Prospero are imbued with the binary opposition, i.e., the colonized vs. the colonizer, and the aboriginal barbarous vs. the cultural cultivated. This paper applies Linda Hutcheon’s theory of adaptation, Erika Fischer-Lichte’s “retheatricalization,” and Christopher Balme’s theory of “theatricality” to analyzing this production. It combines western theater, Chinese Peking Opera, and Taiwanese aboriginal dance and ritual. In this way, it develops Homi Bhabha’s “cultural hybridigy” in the intercultural theatre of heteroglossia.

Keywords : Sycorax, The Tempest, post-colonial feminism, the Other, Interculturalis
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