This Ph.D. project in artistic research is concerned with the function of gesture in traditional Vietnamese music. The aims of the project are to investigate the social function and meaning of musical gesture in traditional Vietnamese music, and to develop artistic responses that articulate an individual voice. The research questions that emerge from these conceptual and artistic aims are:
1. What gender conventions can gesture analysis of musical performance unveil?
2. In what ways can music created through the choreographic structuring of movement reveal and question gender conventions in musical performance?
3. How can my performance, in intercultural and interdisciplinary artistic collaborations, challenge current gender norms and instigate change in practices of traditional Vietnamese music?
This Ph.D. thesis is structured in two main components: (1) the scholarly text and (2) a series of multi-media expositions published online in this The Research Catalogue. These expositions are based on video documentation of music workshops, rehearsals and performances, as well as analyses of these materials, much of which culminates in a documentary film called The Culture Soldiers. It is highly recommended that readers first view the artistic work presented in The Research Catalogue (RC), including the documentary film, and thereafter examine the more conceptually driven narrative in the scholarly text.