by Chris Davis
Think about Elvis and the Blues and how these dirty American sounds took root from Singapore to Liverpool. Then in 1964 it all came back to the states in the form of a British Invasion that profoundly changed our culture and the way the world hears and consumes music. That's a fairly recent bit of history but it might help to put us in a frame of mind to think about the impact of Shakespeare's plays being performed on East India Company ships sailing the seas of a rapidly-expanding globe.
Traveling across space, through Asia, Africa, and the Arab world, and also across generations the supreme playwright's works have been eroded, augmented, adapted, and distilled. The Global Hamlet Symposium at Rhodes College brings a body of academics, actors, and enthusiasts to the home of the Blues to consider how the world has changed Hamlet and Hamlet has changed the world.
In addition to lectures and discussions the Hamlet Symposium will also feature performances by the Tennessee Shakespeare Company and Opera Memphis. In conjunction with the symposium Rhodes is screening Feng Xiaogang's The Banquet, Thursday, Oct 4, Rhodes. Xiaogang's film is a Kung Fu fantasy Hamlet in the vein of Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon.
Friday, October 5, 2012
1-5pm, Blount Auditorium
• 1:00pm: Alexander Huang (George Washington University): "Icons of Modernity: Hamlet and Ophelia in Chinese Confucian Culture"
• 1:30pm: David Schalkwyk (Folger Shakespeare Library): "Hamlet′s Dreams: The Robben Island Shakespeare"
• 2:00pm: Margaret Litvin (Boston University): "Hamlet on the Barricades: Global Shakespeare, Arab Dreams"
• 2:30pm: Nick Hutchison (RADA): "A Player′s Advice to Hamlet"
• 3:00pm: Break
• 3:15pm: Roundtable discussion
• 5:00pm: Reception with performance by Opera Memphis
• "The Banquet" (aka Legend of the Black Scorpion, dir. FENG Xiaogang, China, 2006), a Kung Fu adaptation, to be screened Thursday, October 4, 7:30pm, Blount Auditorium (Buckman Hall — #67 on campus map)
• Baritone aria from Ambroise Thomas′ French grand opera Hamlet, performed by Opera Memphis at the reception following our October 5 symposium
• The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged), performed by the Tennessee Shakespeare Company (September 20-October 7, Poplar Pike Playhouse); tickets for the October 5 performance subsidized for members of the Rhodes community by CODA: The Center for Outreach in the Development of the Arts
• The Poet′s Heart, the Composer′s Pen: Music set to writings of great poets, performed by Rhodes Singers, Chamber Singers, Women′s Chorus and Men′s Chorus (Sunday, October 21, 3:30pm, St. Anne Catholic Church)