1st Edition

The Routledge Companion to Site-Specific Performance

Edited By Victoria Hunter, Cathy Turner Copyright 2025
    544 Pages 25 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This collection comprises a comprehensive overview of key themes, arguments, and practices central to the study and understanding of site-specific performance.

    Its collected essays, case studies and practitioner accounts represent a must-have resource that engages with established and emergent ideas, themes, and practices central to this performance sub-discipline. Acknowledging the interdisciplinary nature of this field emergent through the creation and presentation of performance in non-theatre spaces, the companion includes writing from scholars whose work intersects with ideas from a range of related fields including dance, theatre, dramaturgy, human geography, architecture, walking studies and archaeology. Alongside theoretical discussions and case study examples, a section on methods and structures allows site-specific practitioners to illustrate a range of practical approaches, tasks, and modes of producing site-specific performance in a range of sites.

    This interdisciplinary survey brings together practices and voices from a wide range of global contexts, demonstrating and challenging the breadth of  site-specific discourse. It provides a rich palette of perspectives, approaches and ideas for students, academics, and researchers to draw from.

    List of Illustrations





    Introduction: Terminology, thematic structure, lineages, and contemporary concerns

                            Victoria Hunter and Cathy Turner



    PART I

    Approaching Places: Locating performance


    1.       Specific Places/Global Spaces: Arrival — Neoliberal Placemaking in East London’s Royal Docks- Katie Beswick

    2.       Hemispheric Dialogues: Site Specificity and Indigenous perforMAGICAL ACTivations in Pe ataju jumali / Hot Air

    Laura Levin and Juma Pariri

    3.       Field works

    Karen Barbour

    4.       Three-Dimensional Metaphor – After ‘Site’

    Phil Smith

    5.       Methods of Analysing Site Dance

    Julie Perrin

    6.       Digital Off Sites: Screening Stages and Theatre’s Aura

    Bertie Ferdman



    Bodies: Politics, Activism, and resistance


    7.       Anti-Colonial Approaches to Site-Based Dance Performance

    Rainy Demerson

    8.       WalkCreate: Walking Together as Site-Specific Performance

    Morag Rose, Clare Qualmann, Dee Heddon, Harry Wilson, Maggie O’Neill.

    9.       Siting Dance in the Protests of Political Subjectivities

     Ayrin Ersöz

    10.   Women Walking: Site-relational movements

    Dee Heddon, Cathy Turner

    11.   Ange Aoussou’s Un Pas Vers L’avant: Site Adaptive Improvisation and Community Engagement in Urban Africa

    Celia Weiss-Bambara







    12.   Place, Event, Memory: Jhandapur and Jana Natya Manch

    Aparna Mahiyaria

    13.   What Makes a Trauma Site-Specific? The Performative Culture of Memorials

    Laurie Beth Clark and Michael Peterson

    14.   Expanding the notion of Monument through performance

    Anna Birch

    15.   Jay Pather: The Politics of Site in South Africa

    Ketu H. Katrak

    16.   Braiding: A Fluid Dramaturgy

    Carol Brown



    Architectures and landscapes


    17.   Choreography and Architecture: Compositions in this place

    Adesola Akinleye

    18.   In Exile: Staging Epic Journeys Across Continents of Land and Water

    Dorita Hannah

    19.   Activating ‘Rasa’ with Dance-Architecture

    Shinjita Roy

    20.   ‘Listening to the Land’: A Field of Wheat: Arts and Agriculture Project.

    Susan Haedicke

    21.   Employing metaphor in site-specific vertical dance choreography

    Kate Lawrence

    PART V



    22.   Folding One Place Within Another: Re-thinking Site-Specificity in the Anthropocene via Simone Forti’s 5 Dance Constructions and Some Other Things

    Carl Lavery and Simon Whitehead

    23.   Trees as Experts in Site-Specificity

    Annette Arlander

    24.   Site Performance, Coloniality and the Climate Crisis

    Melanie Kloetzel

    25.   Walking out of our bodies and Into the Mountain: dancing, mountaineering and embodied interconnections through place-relational performance

    Simone Kenyon

    26.   ‘A Holding Space’: Emergence and Entanglement in Tree Spaces

    Victoria Hunter




    Technologies: media and transmission


    27.    Touching distant time and place: place-based augmented reality storytelling

    Misha Myers

    28.   The Connected Museum

    Gabriella Giannacci and Steve Benford

    29.   Site-Specificity and Virtual Reality

    Julie Holledge and Joanne Tompkins

    30.   Wandering with a camera: site-specific scores for the making of somatic landscape screendance Heike Salzer

    31.   Practices of Embodied Listening: Audio Choreographies and Event-Making

    Ariadne Mikou



    Methods and structures


    32.   Dancing Restless Histories

    Gretel Taylor


    33.   The Making of Breathe

    Synne Behrndt

    34.   “On the Rocks”: Two Encounters

    Leslie Satin

    35.   Dancing Outdoors:  Site, Context, and Commons

    Rosemary Lee






    Vicky Hunter is a Reader in Site-Dance and Choreography, University of Chichester.

    Cathy Turner is a Professor of Drama at the University of Exeter.