Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Obsession with Sita and Sight

This is phenomenal and you must read it. At a friend's baby shower recently, I met a fascinating dancer (don't you love it when your awesome friends have awesome friends?) and today I sat down and finally checked out her blog. Then! like a shot from above, a four part series about Sita, Mythology, Dance, Interpretation...Well, if you're reading my blog you are probably already sold.

I'd personally been drafting a post about Sita Sings the Blues for a bit, and I may still, the movie is great and the ballsy distribution strategy warms my heart. I'm definitely a mythology junkie, and this whole series on Dance, Sanskrit and Other Amazing Things is worth reading.

The entire legend of Sita is so steeped in ideas of virtue, motherhood, wife-hood, marriage, commitment, not to mention action packed ogre-slaying, and it still has so much to say about and to women today. What myths do you, dear readers, see influencing modern dialogues about womanhood? How are they being portrayed? and What would you like to see?

Also, taking note of "the ridiculous amount of performances/artwork obsessed with retelling stories, particularly from a female perspective", maybe Western Creators should take a good hard look at Asia and see what they can learn from some timeless female heroines.

The Obsession with Sita and Sight, Part 1

"What was this artistic obsession with giving women a voice through art? Where was it coming from?"

The Obsession with Sita and Sight, Part 2: Global Trends and Feminism

 "The fact that the female dominated dances are the only performing arts form that have taken steps in portraying the feminist point of view is a direct result of being one of the only female dominated profession in India."

The Obsession with Sita and Sight, Part 3: The Backlash and Traditional Values

"Why do so many of these reinterpretations deal with the Ramayana?. The reason for this is more than its popularity and lies in an inherent backlash against Sita. Sita, who threw herself into a fire when her husband questioned her purity. Sita, whose image could have been pointed to when a connection was needed to sati. Sita, whose image was pointed to when a woman decided to speak up in order to silence her. Sita, for all she was supposed to be an ideal of women, was in fact an oppressor during the independence movement. How can females of this age not blame her for so much of what happened to them during the independence movement?"

The Obsession with Sita and Sight, Part 4: The Indian Interpretation

"Interestingly enough, just as we rewrite the stories for our day and age, the people who rewrote Valmiki’s Ramayana also changed the story and storytelling aspects around completely to reflect the attitude of the time. With each rewrite, Ram’s character slowly evolved from man to demi God and Sita became less and less truculent."

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