Because Myanmar's poverty and isolation somewhat protect its traditional performing arts from the competition of global influences, many of them flourish. The repressive military regime has appropriated the former court patronage of music and dance to assert its legitimacy. However, verbal arts such as literature, satire, spoken drama, and film are severely hampered by government censorship and lack of funding. Despite these obstacles, Burmese performers and their audiences demonstrate an amazing resilience: banned and formerly imprisoned performers continue to take to the stage, and audiences flock to see them.
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© 2009 Massachusetts Institute of Technology