Performance Design - Essay nr° 1
A multifaceted subject : Performance Design
Performance Design is a very inclusive subject which involves and interacts with several other academic ﬁelds. But more speciﬁcally, what is this discipline about and how can we better deﬁne it? In the following essay, I will brieﬂy scrutinize the complex sphere of performance studies by taking into account some of the theories from the ﬁrst theory course of Performance Design and some practical examples from our everydayʼs life.
The concept of performance has undergone a signiﬁcant revolution over the last decades, from dealing exclusively with dramaturgy to assuming a more compound and elaborate connotation that is
nowadays used and discussed interdisciplinary. " (...) Teachers and students are seeking two better understand this notion of
performance as a means to gain a deeper understanding of their own ﬁelds of study, as well as a pedagogical method. The buzz over performance is nearly everywhere in the academy (...) " 1
At the present time, the anthropologist Victor Turner and the dramaturge Richard Schechner are considered the central
protagonists in the expansion of the latest and deeper notion of performance. Turner has with his anthropological approach
produced a model that divides performances in three different categories: cultural performance, social performance and social drama. Cultural performance includes traditional events such as plays, parades, masquerades and carnivals, yet
Madison&Hamera, 2006: compendium p.24
it could also involve formal rituals such as solemn ceremonies like weddings and funerals. Social Performance consists of those
events one conducts everyday, such as talking a walk, shaking hands and cheering at a party.2 Lastly, the third type of
performances are categorized under the label Social Drama,
meaning those happenings which occur when there is a break, a
so-called breach in society's normative practices. 3 Following this...
Bibliography: - Barbara Kirschenblatt-Gimblett: Performance Studies 1999
- Victor Turner: ”Introduction”. I: From Ritual to Theatre. The Human
Seriousness of Play. New York.
- D. Soyini Madison & Judith Hamera: Performance Studies at the
Intersections. I: The SAGE handbook of Performance Studies. 2006
- Richard Schechner: Toward a Poetics of Performance. I:
Performance Theory. 2003.
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