Performance Analysis: An Introductory Coursebook

Performance Analysis: An Introductory Coursebook

Performance Analysis: An Introductory Coursebook

Performance Analysis: An Introductory Coursebook

Synopsis

This revolutionary introductory performance studies coursebook brings together classic texts in critical theory and shows how these texts can be used in the analysis of performance.The editors put their texts to work in examining such key topics as:* decoding the sign* the politics of performance* the politics of gender and sexual identity* performing ethnicity* the performing body* the space of performance* audience and spectatorship* the borders of performance.Each reading is clearly introduced, making often complex critical texts accessible at an introductory level and immediately applicavble to the field of performance. The ideas explored within these readings are further clarified through innovative, carefully tested exercises and activities.

Excerpt

The aim of this book is to introduce readers to the theorized analysis of performance. To this end, the texts we have selected offer a range of different theoretical perspectives, each addressing a key dimension of the performed event or else illustrating an analytical principle which can be applied to it. While the texts offer a variety of approaches, they can nevertheless be brought into useful dialogue with one another, for they all focus on the meanings which performance generates and the means by which it does so.

In choosing our texts, we sought not to impose formulas or given interpretations but to enable readers themselves to explore drama, dance, mime, etc. Thus our criterion for selection was usability, with each fragment judged for its potential to illuminate the meaning-making processes of the stage. A number of pieces are drawn from outside the field of Performance Studies proper. This is in part because we have, whenever possible, included the original theories which performance analysts most often employ - the works of Saussure and Bakhtin themselves, for example - rather than those later writings which merely use them. But it is also because, in addressing certain key issues, we have turned to those disciplines in which their study is most advanced, using sociological

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