performativity for (dance) performers
i’m developing this workshop for dancers and performers working within the experimental field where “codes of conduct” are not necessarily predetermined; the people whose job includes the development of original material, i.e., thinking beyond what is currently known, often within a non-responsive environment structurally calibrated to the needs of traditional dancing. the backbone of this work is the theory of performativity, which suggests a way of understanding how repetition of action creates symbolic value whilst bridging the physical restrictions of communication and playing in the field of affect, and so: experience. the theory is used so that it informs the study of the standards we are currently working and living within, and the creative deconstruction and the reconstruction of said standards in hope of developing the conditions necessary for research and creation to take place.
there are three aspects to the work:
when developing original material, how do you make sure the material is consistently successful at communicating what it’s supposed to communicate with a large group of people if, in the rehearsal process, you only ever have time enough to calibrate your performing relative too how your performing is being perceived by a single (biased) individual, the choreographer? with little adjustment, this question could be asked to makers, researchers, and choreographers. the creative responsibility is rarely if ever in the hands of a single individual.
for the purpose of this study, participants will be engaging in guided meditating, dancing in the dark, anatomical explorations, and the creation of original material.
the analytical part of this chapter has to do with studying the ways existing structures and organising principles frame what’s currently possible to do and make and think and speak.
the creative part of this chapter deals with asking what kind of decisions need to be made so that desired conditions for imagined creation are developed?
for the purpose of this study, participants will be sharing experiences, writing, and doing online research.
this work relates to writings by judith butler, j l austin, sara ahmed, stefano harney and fred moten, donna haraway, adrienne maree brown, karen barad, and others. what writings are read in the workshop will be decided in collaboration with the participants. this is an embodied workshop. the reading material is only as interesting as it is applicable to the actual needs and interests of the people involved.
by sharing the theoretical framework this work is based on, i am hoping to do two things: expose the aspect of my practice that concerns the integration of its critical (mind) and practical (body) elements, and establish a field of reference that the participant can come back to and draw from after the end of the workshop, be that for personal or strategic reasons.
for the purpose of this study, participants will be reading alone, reading together, conversing, and writing.
this work is meant to serve dance students, freelance dancers, and dancers working in dance companies; more and less mature dancers. the work is committed to developing useful skills that will help dancers develop their work and argue for it, be that with peers, superiors, or the authorities.