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Changing Perspectives on Live Performance: interrogating digital dimensions and new modes of

This online symposium will explore transformations in theatre, dance and performance-making, and their professional practices, that emerged during the pandemic. It takes place on 8-9 October 2021.
Graphic design by Celeste DeCis

Book your place at Changing Perspectives on Live Performance: 8-9 October 2021

What it is

Changing Perspectives on Live Performance: interrogating digital dimensions and new modes of engagement is an international research network that discusses ways of creating and presenting theatre, dance and performance that emerged during and after the Covid-19 pandemics.

The past year marked by a world pandemic has brought changing circumstances to the artistic and performance scene. The impossibility of gathering, rehearsing and performing to live audiences has forced artists to investigate new alternatives of not only performing their work but also financially supporting themselves. This has affected both the aesthetics of performance-making and the professional practices of performance-makers. Changes in formats have created new ways of reaching audiences which have more fully exploited an ever-increasing engagement with a wide variety of screen-based technology and digital platforms.

This online symposium will explore some of the transformations that have taken place, and generate new conversations among artists and theoreticians.

Join us via Microsoft Teams on 8-9 October 2021.

Free registration for our online international symposium is open.

Who we are

Eva Aymami Rene is a scholar, a dancer and choreographer. A Senior Lecturer of dance at Anglia Ruskin University, Eva’s research focuses on performance of political identities and the construction of gender identity in contemporary Europe. She continues her research in dance as a corporeal language to speak of memories and silence in Post-Franco Spain. She completed her PhD thesis ‘Choreographing the Silence, Women Dancing Democracy in Post-Franco Spain’ at University of Surrey, Guildford. A Fulbright Scholarship recipient, Eva researched dance as a construction of social protest at UCLA's Department of World Arts and Culture. Eva has danced and choreographed in different theatre productions in Barcelona with La Fura dels Baus and Less 4 Souffles, and in Los Angeles with Maria Gillespie and Victoria Marks, while she also developed community projects with the American Veterans Association, Pina Bausch in Germany and Rosas Dance Company in Brussels. Eva graduated in 2001 in Social and Cultural Anthropology, from the University Autonoma of Barcelona and simultaneously from the Contemporary Dance and Choreography at the Institute of the Theatre, the conservatory of Barcelona, Spain.

Patricia Di Risio is a lecturer in film, media and journalism at Monash College (Monash University). Patricia completed her doctoral thesis at the University of Melbourne and her research focuses on unconventional representations of women and femininity in 1990s Hollywood. Patricia’s research explores the impact of such representations on genre filmmaking practices and considers the positive and innovative changes that feminist and queer discourses have had on commercial cinema. Patricia has taught film, media and theatre studies in Italy, the UK and Australia. She is a filmmaker profiles writer for the Melbourne Women in Film Festival (MWFF) and a freelance theatre reviewer for Stage Whispers.

Melina Scialom is a performer, choreologist, dramaturge and dance researcher. Currently a research fellow at the Postgraduate Programme in Performing Arts (UFBA) in Brazil where she collaborates with Professor Ciane Fernandes in her Somatic-Performative Research approach and teaches undergraduate and postgraduate courses. With a PhD in Dance from the University of Roehampton, UK and a Specialist Diploma in Choreological Studies (Trinity Laban, UK), her current interests lie in contemporary practices associated to Laban praxis, practice-based, embodied and somatic research enquiries in the field of dance making and dramaturgy. She is artistic director of the dance company Maya-Lila (since 2005) where she performs and dramaturges dance performances.

Naz Yeni is a theatre-maker, movement practitioner, researcher and lecturer. She trained in Hacettepe University Ankara State Conservatoire (Turkey) and Birmingham School of Speech and Drama (UK). Her acting credits include Lady Macbeth for Creation Theatre Company (Oxford) and chorus for City of Birmingham Touring Opera. Her MA was in applied linguistics (King’s College London). Her MEd was in drama education (Cambridge University). Her PhD research in ARU is on theatre stylistics. While re-training as a physical performer, she has studied the Six Viewpoints with Mary Overlie as well as with Anne Bogart and SITI Company, trained with Eugenio Barba and Odin Teatret, specialised in Laban-based creative dance and movement analysis. Her directing credits include Turkish State Theatres and Arcola Theatre’s Creative Disruptions Festival (London).

Call for papers

During the Covid-19 pandemic, the impossibility of rehearsing and performing to live audiences has forced artists to investigate alternatives.

This has significantly transformed live performances which have adapted to new ways of working and resulted in resourceful and imaginative alternatives and variations. Identifying the features of these changes will highlight pioneering directions for the future of live performance. This involves developments in the relationship between dance, theatre and film, offering digital innovations within liveness that this symposium wishes to identify and analyse.

We welcome presentations, provocations, workshops, and performances as part of the proposals for participating in the symposium. The aim is to identify and analyse the transformations and generate new conversations among artists and theoreticians.

Keynote speakers include:

  • Anne Bogart (theatre director, SITI Company, USA)
  • Prof Maria Shevtsova (Goldsmiths, University of London, UK)
  • Dr Mark Nicholls (University of Melbourne, Australia)

Roundtable discussion includes:

  • Charlotte Vincent (Artistic Director of Vincent Dance Theatre, UK)

Workshop by:

  • Parliament of Practices

Abstracts and presenters

This Season’s Drama and the Vanya on 42nd Street Solution

Mark Nicholls Keynote Abstract

This address considers the current live performance crisis by looking for solutions in the Andre Gregory and Louis Malle collaboration film, Vanya on 42nd Street (1994).  Part performance of Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya, part conservation of the Andre Gregory/David Mamet/Wallace Shawn “Vanya” project, Vanya on 42nd Street presents a range of enduring benefits and problems associated with the, apparently natural, group marriage of film and theatre folk.

New Times, New Forms, New Spectatorship

Maria Shevtsova

Observations on several key principles of analysis for a social rather than only formal perception of artistic processes and stylistics in times of change frame the examples here chosen of theatre in which digital film (Castorf, Bogomolov, Mitchell, Marina Abramovic) is a compositional element. The latter  – the first three directors are foundational practitioners of live-film theatre – occurred well before Covid-19 turned digital means into a necessity of communication. Theatre (in the broadest sense of the term, including dance, opera and mixed-arts creations) is, of course, far more than communication, given its collaborative, collective, and – in salient cases– ensemble practices (Bogart, among many others in the legacy of Stanislavsky, innovator of ensemble and laboratory theatre). Practices during the high Covid period have introduced new performance modes but also new modes of spectatorship that appear to differ for streamed pre-Covid works from works specifically designed for digital dissemination (Kwame Kwei-Armah, Peter Sellars). Spectating in two international festivals cited in this talk is briefly linked to Luk Perceval’s online premiere of his partially lockdown theatre film  – one of a planned live trilogy. Questions raised by the various details noted and points made are only first steps towards an area that requires a good deal of thought as it evolves with unknown changes to come.

Technical help

This event takes place using Microsoft Teams.

A helpsheet on guest access to Teams can be found here.

A helpsheet on setting up Multi-Factor Authentication can be found on this page.