As the nature of contemporary performance continues to expand into new forms, genres and media, it requires an increasingly diverse vocabulary. Reading Contemporary Performance provides students, critics and creators with a rich understanding of the key terms and ideas that are central to any discussion of this evolving theatricality.
Specially commissioned entries from a wealth of contributors map out the many and varied ways of discussing performance in all of its forms – from theatrical and site-specific performances to live and New Media art. The book is divided into two sections:
- Concepts - Key terms and ideas arranged according to the five characteristic elements of performance art: time; space; action; performer; audience.
- Methodologies and Turning Points - The seminal theories and ways of reading performance, such as postmodernism, epic theatre, feminisms, happenings and animal studies.
- Case Studies – entries in both sections are accompanied by short studies of specific performances and events, demonstrating creative examples of the ideas and issues in question.
Three different introductory essays provide multiple entry points into the discussion of contemporary performance, and cross-references for each entry also allow the plotting of one’s own pathway. Reading Contemporary Performance is an invaluable guide, providing not just a solid set of familiarities, but an exploration and contextualisation of this broad and vital field.
Table of Contents
Part 1: Performance Editorial Introduction Section 1: Time Archive Historiography Historicity Inscription Liminality Memory Narrative/narratology Reenactment Remains Reproduction Syncopation Trace Quotation Endurance art Section 2: Space Discipline Environmental Theater Found/artificial space Hypocritical/fake space Hierarchy Landscape Theater Mise en scene Paratheater Performative Photography Prison Culture Proxemics Scenography Site Specific Performance Surveillance Virtual Performance Section 3: Action Appropriation Art Choreography Collaboration Cybernetics Dance Event Experimental Music Hybridity Liveness Matrixed/non-matrixed Mediation Media Mimesis Mimicry New Genre Public Art Negative Mimesis Performatics Play Post-linearity Propaganda Repertoire Simulacra War Section 4: Performer Actor Affect Alterity Animalworks Camp Circus Devising Digital Performance Docudrama Double-coding Drag Embodiment Emotions Ethnic Drag Explicit Body performance Extreme Performance Gender Gestus Glossolalia Parody Pornograpy Obscenity Restored Behavior Rhetoric Roles Subject Position Section 5:Audience Communitas Emotional Contagion Empathy Frame/Framing Gaze Invisible Theater Prosthetic Performance (including Critical Subjectivity and Documentation) Reception Theory Spectator Part 2: Methodologies and Turning Points Introduction Animal Studies Anti-Art Auteur Theater Body Art Ecological Theater Epic Theater Feminisms Fluxus Globalization/Glocalization Happenings Identity Politics Identification/dis-identification Intercultural Performance Intermediality Marxism Minimalism Modernism Montage Multicentricity Performance Art/Live Art Performance Studies Phenomenology Postcolonial/Subaltern Studies Postmodernism Post-Porn Modernism Robotics and information Art Semiotics/semiology Terrorism and Performance/Theater of Cruelty Transnationalism Race Whiteness
Meiling Cheng is Associate Professor of Dramatic Arts/Critical Studies and English at the University of Southern California and Director of Critical Studies at USC School of Dramatic Arts.
Gabrielle H. Cody is Mary Riepma Ross Professor and Chair of Drama at Vassar College where she has taught since 1992. She concentrates her areas of teaching in performance studies, environmental studies, and material performance projects.