Working with Gekidan Kaitaisha: addressing the complexity of the self of the performer as other

Woodford-Smith, Rebecca Helen (2014) Working with Gekidan Kaitaisha: addressing the complexity of the self of the performer as other. PhD thesis, Middlesex University.

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Abstract

This project focuses on performance-making practices for contemporary audiences and addresses the complexity of the self of the performer as other, drawing primarily on the author’s collaborative practice with Japanese performance company Gekidan Kaitaisha. The investigation approaches the enquiry from a practitioner’s perspective and addresses questions that emerge from that practice. The aim of this is to establish accounts of the self of the performer, performer expertise, collaborative performance processes and cultural hybridization. The project specifically transcribes the sensed and felt experience, and knowledge, of the expert practitioner. This offers insights into the complexity of the self of the performer as other, transcultural collaboration, and performance making. Through a qualitative research based inquiry, the project draws on a practice-centred approach, with the inquiry taking place through both practice as research and literature-based research, culminating in a written thesis and the DVD documentation of the rehearsal processes and performances from a range of collaborative projects. The inquiry constructs a layered, multifaceted, and multi-linear map of performer-bodyness and performer-selfhood that operates within the compositional processes of performance-making, and draws out an ‘actional self’ in-process and constantly altered, composed, recomposed, and difficult to grasp as a singular static unchanging “thing” or quality. The investigation addresses post-colonial complexities through an understanding of the work of certain twentieth century writers and practitioners, in terms of a desire for difference, and addresses the complexity of the self of the performer as other in a culturally complex context. It locates ‘otherness’ in terms of identity within the framework of cultural distinctions, where the other might be perceived to be a site of desire. The practice reveals that something is being played out, in performance-making terms, that is much more complex, complicated, and ungraspable than the idea of the ambiguities of cultural distinctiveness.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Research Areas: B. > Theses
A. > School of Media and Performing Arts
Item ID: 13748
Depositing User: Users 3197 not found.
Date Deposited: 13 Aug 2014 15:32
Last Modified: 01 Jun 2019 23:10
URI: https://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/13748

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