Words fail me: dancing with the other's familiar.

Melrose, Susan (2005) Words fail me: dancing with the other's familiar. In: Towards Tomorrow?, International gathering., 6-10 April 2005., Centre for Performance Research, Aberystwyth, University of Wales.

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Official URL: http://www.sfmelrose.u-net.com/wordsfailme/


I want to look briefly today at the issue of practitioner-expertise, asking first where and how practitioner expertise can be identified in Performance Studies writing; and why, if the recent work of a professional company such as the Wooster Group can be described in terms of "demonic virtuosity", it is so rare to find practitioner expertise, performance mastery and virtuosity referenced as such in those registers of writing. It is rare, even in the case of those writers who consistently engage with expert practices and practitioners from their own position as expert spectator. For the sake of my argument today, I propose to take "practitioner expertise", "professional" or "expert" practices and/or "disciplinary mastery" as tokens, to mark out not simply an other of Performance Studies writing, but an other with which Performance Studies writers tend nonetheless to be familiar - as expert spectator - in practice. My central argument, in brief, is that performance expertise and performance virtuosity have been failed by writing, hence by many performance-theoretical writers - not least when we draw apparently productive metaphors into writing in this contested field.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Keynote)
Research Areas:School of Media and Performing Arts > Performing Arts
ID Code:3073
Deposited On:17 Nov 2009 15:54
Last Modified:30 May 2014 09:23

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