PERFORMANCE ARTS (SOO)

Myanmar Arts Reflection

Every country has its own culture with its unique feature and beauty. Especially for Asian nations, it is expected that they have their own sense of beauty which is different beauty from Western nations. With some of the most typical Eastern charm, Myanmar has many things to deliver. With its long tradition as well as beauty, Myanmar is widely known for its two main categories which are graphic arts and performance arts (Aung Zaw 2006).

With two famous categories, they have plenty of their beauty including Panbu (Sculpture of wood), Panbe (Sculpture of stone), Anyeint, Myanmar puppet dance and more. Among many options available, I have chosen Anyeint as my reflection. As a person who have danced before where my group has chosen to be a representative of Vietnam in Incheon k-pop festival in 2014, I thought that it would be interesting for me to further study and analyze about a country’s particular culture on dancing. Hence, I can learn how each countries have their own distinct dance movements and how they convey their beauty. Not only this, it was an opportunity for myself on learning a country’s history about dancing and by so, I can show respect towards their culture.

Speaking further about Anyeint, the Myanmar dance, it also have the meaning of “gentle”. This dance has such name in order to deliver the gentle and relaxing feeling to the audience. This form of dance is really famous in Myanmar, where it appears numerous festivals and act as important part of Myanmar life (Myanmar 2017). This dance is also the entertainment to greet the outsiders visiting their town. As the time pass, today Anyeint not only dance, but they also include comedies where they will have clows and act slapstick comedy. This dance usually involves 2 Minthanmee (the female performer) and 4 clowns, but depends on the region, numbers of dancers may be more (Dr. Clare Suet Ching Chan 2016). Clowns will act together with the performers and they will also be responsible for small talks after the Minthanmee performed, in order for them to have some break. This also entertains the audience, ensuring people who came to the show will not get bored. Even in the most vigorous rapid movement, performers will try to retain the gentle, graceful quality characterized by the name “gentle” (Robert Garfias 1975). It was interesting throughout the time for myself to research about this dance. Usually, the convey perception of dancing would be “excitement and enthusiasm” whereas Anyeint as mentioned above, they try to remain the calmest possible. Despite the fact that the dance delvers excitement and huge joy to audience, dancers on the stage would still try to maintain and keep focused on keeping their pace steady. Therefore, they will above to avoid possible mistakes to be happen.

As a member who performed dancing as a group, I was able to learn their perseverance since I know it is not easy to dance as a group, especially dance that every members within the group need to synchronize with each other. When looking the videos of their performance, I was able to observe all the members dancing were no mistakes, and their movements of dance were calm and beautiful, enhancing the charm of the dance. As a modern dancer, it was a chance to observe some of the traditional movements of other countries and able to get some of the ideas how those movements can be translated into modern movements. Therefore it was easier for myself to strategize further about how to create the dances that would captivate the audience attention.

Despite being as a dancer, such knowledge can be very helpful for myself. If I have a chance to visit this nation, I am able to understand more about their culture. Especially when watching the performance of Anyeint, I am pretty much sure that I can understand better than other tourists about what the dancers are trying the deliver to the audience. By so, it would be an advantage for myself to have a better memory about travelling to this country, comparing to tourists whom just visit and take few shots.

Thinking of a realistic view in the future, it is not deniable fact that there would be an opportunity for myself to work business with Myanmar partners, whether to expand my business to that nation or make a partnership. With having knowledge about their culture, it would further assist myself in understanding their culture and hence, create a positive vibe and atmosphere, lead to positive consequences. This applies just same that myself as a Korean, if there is a partner from foreign nation that came to Korea and he understands well about Korean culture, I would be greatly appreciated and would trigger myself to work with that person. Therefore, I expect that such knowledge researching about Myanmar dance would act as a great trigger to help my future career into positive way.

Concluding the reflection, I found a lot of interesting things throughout the project, such as Myanmar dance conveys “calmness” while generally, people have perception that dancing would be “excitement” and “enthusiasm”. As a person who equipped with such knowledge, it would be a great opportunity for myself to understand Myanmar culture better when I visit there and when I become a successful business man, I might be working with Myanmar partners. Therefore by understanding their culture, I expect that our partnership would turn out into success. It was a great chance to observe about Myanmar culture and if I have chance in the future, I would love to study more about another Asian culture.

References

Aung Zaw, 2006, Burma: music under siege, page 39-61

Dr. Clare Suet Ching Chan 2016, Faculty of music and performing arts, University Pendidikan Sultan Idris, Tanjong Malim, Perak, Malaysia, 22-24 November 2016, Conference proceeding

Myanmar 2017, “Anyeint”, Myanmar, viewed 4 September 2017, <https://myanmars.net/arts/19058-myanmar-dances>

Myanmar 2017, “Myanmar Arts”, Myanmar, viewed 4 September 2017, <https://myanmars.net/arts>

Robert Garfias 1975, Schott Music GmbH & Co. KG, A musical visit to Burma, Vol. 17, No.1 (1975), pp. 3-13