East Meets West: The Perception of Japanese and Chinese Theatres in the Context of Edinburgh International Festival Programming Policy
Hsieh, C. (2007) East Meets West: The Perception of Japanese and Chinese Theatres in the Context of Edinburgh International Festival Programming Policy, no. 353.
East Meets West: The Perception of Japanese and Chinese Theatres in the Context of Edinburgh International Festival Programming Policy aims to explore the issues around intercultural translation and whether or not intercultural theatre can even truly represent non-domestic texts without distortion. In order to explore this in detail, this thesis uses as its research target an in-depth analysis of two productions produced at Edinburgh International Festival (EIF). Edinburgh International Festival was chosen as an appropriate cultural platform for this discussion due to its international recognition. In order to reveal the Eurocentric-oriented ideology within the Festival's policy and discuss the implications of this Eurocentric ideology for possibilities of intercultural translation, the thesis will explore the changes in programming policy by different EIF Festival Directors since 1947. Edward Said's 'Orientalism' is used as major reference regarding the Eurocentric ideology, and the concept of Western interculturalism. Several occidental and semi-western views are explored with relation to Broadway production on oriental themes in order to further explore Said's idea of Orientalism. The thesis shows how this idea is present in the EIF's context, based on an in-depth analysis of two intercultural productions of 'Macbeth': Ninagawa and Kunju. The aim is to show how these two productions represent a Western audience's voice. Since the question of identification is one of the major concerns in intercultural theatre practice, the thesis discusses the issues of identity and analyses potential for indigenous Asian theatre forms to engage in intercultural exchange in a way that would be built on equality rather than changing those forms to suit Western audiences' understanding. Accordingly, two intercultural productions of Ninagawa and Kunju 'Macbeth', which were presented on EIF's stage in 1985 and 1987 respectively, and their performance texts will be analysed in terms of the implication of EIF's programming policy on Japan's and China's theatre works presented at the Festival. The resulting research outcomes indicate that equal exchange and authentic representation between different cultures may be impossible.