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Macmillan Higher Education Palgrave Higher Education

Performance Perspectives

A Critical Introduction

ISBN 9780230243453
Publication Date November 2011
Formats Hardcover Ebook Paperback 
Publisher Palgrave

What is 'performance'? What are the boundaries of Performance Studies? How do we talk about contemporary performance practices today in simple but probing terms? What kinds of practices represent the field and how can we interpret them?

Combining the voices of academics, artists, cultural critics and teachers, Performance Perspectives answers these questions and provides a critical introduction to Performance Studies. Presenting an accessible way into key terminology and context, it offers a new model for analyzing contemporary performance based on six frames or perspectives:

• Body
• Space
• Time
• Technology
• Interactivity
• Organization.

Drawing on examples from a wide range of practices across site specific performance, virtual reality, dance, applied theatre and everyday performance, Performance Perspectives addresses the binary of theory and practice and highlights the many meeting points between studio and seminar room. Each chapter takes the innovative form of a three-way conversation, bringing together theoretical introductions with artist interviews and practitioner statements. The book is supported by activities for discussion and practical devising work, as well as clear guidance for further reading and an extensive reference list across media

Performance Perspectives is essential reading for anyone studying, interpreting or making performance.

JONATHAN PITCHES is Professor of Theatre and Performance in the School of Performance and Cultural Industries at the University of Leeds, UK. He is the author of Vsevolod Meyerhold and Science and the Stanislavsky Tradition of Acting, and founding co-editor of Theatre Dance and Performance Training.
SITA POPAT is Head of the School of Performance and Cultural Industries and Senior Lecturer in Dance at the University of Leeds, UK. She is the author of Invisible Connections: Dance, Choreography and Internet Communities, and Associate Editor of the International Journal of Performance Arts and Digital Media.

List of Illustrations and Figures
List of Tables
Notes on Contributors
Foreword; M.Wallis
Introduction; J.Pitches
PART I: BODY; Introduced and edited by A.Fenemore
Any Body? The Multiple Bodies of the Performer; V.Ramirez Ladron De Guevera
Some Body and No Body: The Body of a Performer; W.Houstoun
Every Body: Performance's Other Bodies; A.Fenemore
PART II: SPACE; Introduced and edited by S.Palmer
Event-Space: Performance Space and Spatial Performativity; D.Hannah
Scenographic Space and Place; L.A.Wilson
Audience Space/Scenographic Space; S.Palmer
PART III: TIME; Introduced and edited by T.Gardner
Theatre, Technology and Time; S.Dixon
Ghost Dance: Time and Duration in the Work of Lone Twin; G.Whelan
The Lives and Times of Performance; T.Gardner
PART IV: TECHNOLOGY; Introduced and edited by S.Popat
Gaming and Performance: Narrative and Identity; J.Wood
SwanQuake House 'Messing the System Up'; R.Gibson & B.Martelli
Performance and Technology: The Myth of Disembodiment; S.Popat
PART V: INTERACTIVITY; Introduced and edited by A.O'Grady
Boalian Perspectives on Interactivity in Theatre; J.Somers
Interactivity and the Work of Blast Theory; M.Adams
Interactivity: Functions and Risks; A.O'Grady
PART VI: ORGANISATION; Introduced and edited by C.Taylor
Performance, Culture and Industry; R.Brown
Organisational Agility and Improvisation; T.Greenstreet
Performance, Organisation, Theory; C.Taylor
Epilogue; J.Pitches


As a tool to facilitate the orientation, critical grounding, analysis, and evaluation of performance work, this should be a set text for every theatre and performance course.' - New Theatre Quarterly
'This book is a guide and a map to key concepts that inspire the making and theorizing of performance. Re-imagining the borders that separate academics and practitioners, Performance Perspectives gives voice to multiple ways of thinking, observing, interconnecting, bridling, and creating.' - Lin Hixson, Professor and Chair, Performance Department, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, USA '
Pitches and Popat have constructed an invaluable resource for students and scholars of contemporary performance anywhere. Performance Perspectives provides new angles on the field and is ideally suited for use in the tertiary classroom.' - Edward Scheer, Associate Professor of Theatre Studies, University of New South Wales, Australia.
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