PARTICIPATORY PERFORMANCE FORMATS
study of a conceptual framework
This study centres on the development of strategies to create participatory performance formats, focussing on the topics of surviving oppression, discrimination and active means to change institutional thoughts, as well as their embedded hierarchies. With diverse frameworks, my goal is to resolutely expand performing arts by conceiving original ways of public outreach, to the local community.
As a choreographer I aim to dissolve the separation between performers and spectators enabling an empowering coalition.
The uncertainty of our lives since human existence - our living by while 32 countries are on war right in this moment, inequality and poverty, rights being eradicated, violence, mental health crisis, discrimination and social injustice, political polarisation, global hunger, natural disasters, conformism, animal-human-nature slaughter, loneliness and social disconnection, global pandemic - makes me ask myself, as a choreographer, what my practice is about. How can performing arts, nowadays, serve the society?
Participatory Performance Formats came to me as a necessity, as a calling, after nineteen years of career as a dancer and performer. This appeal consisted in the function/role of the artist in a disturbed society which, in my personal and professional interest, is to give awareness of the universe, to ask the right questions, and to elevate the mind.
Art should have political, spiritual, and surprising elements. It should try to find new language of communicating in order to give awareness to the public. Then every society can use the layer it needs at the moment - contributing in the performance development as a preamble for what we can do outside the performance context. Resonance.
If a person is interested in the political, they can take that. If another needs spiritual acquaintance, it can be found in the same work. Therefore if I, as a creator, develop one level within the performance, it does not reflect the wider range of the public, only a few people would resonate with it, a fewer would understand it, the most would forget it. The art that does not create resonance is art that dies, - or remains aesthetic. The Art that carries a multilayered complexity has many lives where many societies can take out something different from it and at different times.
The investigation on diverse Formats aims to be the base to develop thought-provoking participatory/collaborative performances that delve into the depths of existentialism, inviting audiences to engage with the fundamental questions and dilemmas of human existence. Through a unique blend of immersive theatre, interactive elements, and philosophical synergies, these dance-theatre formats aim to facilitate introspective and transformative experiences for the participants.
The need to come to such a strategic format is to enable the audience the hold of knowledge and the capacity to collaborate in a social experiment where they're invited to create change.
What kind of social-communication strategies are to be implemented to: invite audience taking part in a performance out of their own free will & consent? / provide a safe environment for things to happen naturally?
The subject of investigation is the existentialist doctrine, which refers to the concept of ultimate freedom. In the form of philosophical query it explores issues about the meaning & value of human existence on subjective experiences.
In relation to my study it is a direction of giving life a purpose throughout action also within a performance context.
As a dance activist I want to develop performance tactics to invite audience to actively question asymmetrical hierarchies on urban culture, politics of exclusion and identity themes.
Each of these formats intend to leave participants with a heightened awareness of the importance of their choices, encouraging them to question pre-conceptualised beliefs and values.
How can we establish trust between performers and audience? What are the strategies which allow both parties to stay real, but be in the hands of the other? How can the boundaries with the audience be set, to not let them annihilate the performers?
We, dancers, choreographers and performing artists, create the space and time in which performance is going to happen. We physically enter. Whatever happens in that frame is part of the piece that we can't control. We become reality on stage. Everything is a part of it. The only thing is to give ourselves completely. My greater intention as a dance professional and performer is to get through the audience, and the audience to experience the performance from within, as well as to lead its eventuality.
How many levels of involvement are there for an audience? What kind of frame could these participatory performances have?
In every format a lively context must be established, between performers and audience who is verbally involved to request & propose solution in the conceptual frame of the performance event, as well to intervene inside the performing space contributing to the positive execution of the performance and the physical activities.
What are the master tools to develop a creation which implicates audience-performers codependency?
In addition to what I had meticulously planned to do throughout this research time, during my investigation, I have had the opportunity to meet individuals who share a genuine deep interest in participatory formats. These encounters have been enlightening, as they have allowed me to discover aspects and perspectives that I did not anticipate. Moreover, diving into this subject has opened up an entirely new world for me, one that is filled with exciting possibilities for creating new sort of dimensions. With this term I refer to a space, a context in which people can zone out from the world by recreating a (utopian) micro-society. This anecdote has provided me with a fresh perspective, offering innovative and imaginative approaches to engage audiences in a more interactive and immersive manner. This journey of exploration has truly broadened my horizons and transformed my understanding of how to create truly captivating and inclusive performances.
Thanks to the support if Distanz Solo, in six-month timeframe, I have developed twelve Participatory Performance Formats, which I'm extremely looking forward to have the possibility to create live.
Gefördert durch die Beauftragte der Bundesregierung für Kultur und Medien im Programm NEUSTART KULTUR, Hilfsprogramm DIS-TANZEN des Dachverband