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Empowering Women Through the Lens of Matriarchy in Creating Contemporary Dance Work “SOPAN”
For this paper, I produced a choreography in dance work emphasizing the scope of matriarchy or empowering women by exploring semiotics through movements. In general, women have often been looked at as sex symbols from the perspective of gaze and are often looked at as weak. My practice as research attempts to review the status of Malay women in Peninsular Malaysia by examining the impact of Islamic revivalism and industrialization on the Malay family, kinship, and marriage system through Adat Pepatih, which is norm-based practice in one of the states in Malaysia, Rembau, Negeri Sembilan into a dance choreography title SOPAN. This research looks at the semiotics ideology in societal behavior related to the practice of adat perpatih and transforms to contemporary dance choreography by looking at the movement’s symbolism and costume related to religion (symbol) towards the developments in the modern era. In this research, I argue how religion reform and automation have had similar effects in increasing gender differences, paternalism, and misogyny, shifting the rule of bilaterality in the direction of patriarchy and considerably undermining the status of Malay women in both traditional and modern society. In Malaysia particularly the adat (culture) has been sat under one pillar, which has made the concept of adat concept is seen as bad according to the religious point of view. While the perspective of the community sees women who dress less politely as not showing good manners. To address this, I have used Schechner’s Workshop-rehearsal/performance model to make this contemporary choreography and look at the theory of semiotics to peel the process of producing SOPAN works that highlight the movement’s ideas and costuming. This creative work metaphorically explained the meaning of SOPAN from the perspective of matriarchy. Through this discourse, the view from the semiotic foundation perspective will support the ideology of adat in modern society.
Matriarchy, Choreography, Gaze, Gender, Contemporary Dance
Citation: Muhammad Fairul Azreen bin Mohd Zahid and Aimi Nabila binti Anizaim (2023). Empowering Women Through the Lens of Matriarchy in Creating Contemporary Dance Work “SOPAN”. Horizon J. Hum. Soc. Sci. Res. 5 (1), 116–127. https://doi.org/10.37534/bp.jhssr.2023.v5.n1.id1201.p116
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