Waiting for Superman
Wives in Dough
4 November 2022
Folk songs, ballads and customs of a nation reveal a bygone era. What kind of life did our ancestors have, what kind of stories did they sing to each other while working, what was taboo, what was important to them, what made them laugh, what made them sad? What about our female ancestors? What was life like for women in a traditional society we learn about from folk songs?
In Wives in Dough, we learn about the women of the past through four seasons, each of which is presented by one actress. The cyclical time of nature governed traditional society and people. Everything is born, develops and finally dies. But not conclusively, somehow death just makes room for new birth, life and growth. Nature and society live on.
In spring, a little girl, still moist from the morning dew, is amazed to discover the world around her and its principles. In summer, under the scorching sun, when it is difficult to find shade and to take refuge in its coolness, a young girl faces the burst of love, the first pangs and pressure of a society that has charted her path for her. And then the grapes grow ripe on the vine and a mother’s child grows up. Autumn is a time of joy; during the dressing of the flaxen season, women are finally allowed to be what they were previously denied – loud, voracious, cheerful, mischievous. Unfortunately, this only lasted for a day or two, after which women were returned to the only role they had in traditional society – that of mother. This was often marked by pain and difficult choices. As we move from the outdoor meadows, pastures and fields to an indoor space confined by the four walls of our homes in autumn, winter is a time to review the previous year and prepare for the coming year under the auspices of our elders. We listen to the stories we have learned, perhaps those we have almost forgotten, and those that repeat themselves time and time again.