When Martha Cheung asserts that translators dealing with historic materials might use her pushing-hands approach to “think of past and present in a relation of interdependence, with past events informing the present and present perspectives illuminating the past, the two alternately pushing and yielding” (ibid.: 161; this volume, p. 25), she might be directly addressing the realm of theater practice. Pushing-hands, as Cheung elegantly and efﬁ ciently explains it, draws on an advanced martial arts form in which cooperation, awareness, reaction, and a continuous interplay of opposites work to yield heightened attention and the ability to survive via embracing and using the power of one’s partner(s). Such cooperation and interplay describe exactly how actors are taught and encouraged to relate to one another in rehearsal and performance. They “play off” one another, balancing actions and reactions to text, objects, emotions, and character, individually and collectively. One might also say that an engaged audience “pushes hands” with the performers, if one accepts that audience presence affects actors’ performance in the moment. When a production’s source material (often a script) originated in any former era, Cheung’s notion of “past and present in a relation of interdependence” is palpable. Theater practitioners who use translated scripts from the past understand that they are engaged in a process of transporting other times into the present-a process in which negotiation is requisite. Indeed, their source materials are doubly rendered present: the scripts undergo traditional translation and the verbal translation undergoes performative realization via contemporary bodies and sensibilities.
|Title of host publication||The Pushing-Hands of Translation and its Theory|
|Subtitle of host publication||In memoriam Martha Cheung, 1953-2013|
|Publisher||Taylor and Francis|
|Number of pages||14|
|State||Published - May 12 2016|