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Choreographing Spectatorship - The vibrant, metaphorical and micro mobility of the spectator in performances of contemporary choreographers
full-text Igitur Archive
jaar2017
auteur Schäuble, S.K.A.
keywords spectatorship, mobility, contemporary dance
document type Master thesis
opleiding Theaterwetenschap (Theatre Studies) -
toegang Open Access (free)
taal en
supervisors Maaike Bleeker, Konstantina Georgelou
abstractThis Master thesis functions as an exposition of how performances of contemporarychoreographers stage movement and the mobility of the spectator. The mobility of thespectator by means of the spatial displacement of the spectator is staged explicitly withinambulatory and participatory theatre. However, it is my intention to facilitate a morenuanced vocabulary on mobility and with it the participation of the spectator. I investigatethe potential of performances from the discourse of dance and choreography to stimulatean understanding of participation beyond the bias of ‘passive’ and ‘active’ spectatorship.Performances by Arno Schuitemaker, Katja Heitmann, and the duo Andrea Božić and JuliaWillms exemplify such understanding by presenting a paradox: These performances addressthe spectator within the frame of a seated audience and explore ways in which the spectatorcan participate through (internal) movement. Thereby, rather than asking whether thespectator is seated or moving through space, I am curious about the ways in which theseperformances address and position the spectator to participate in movement.Building on Susan Leigh Foster’s method of unravelling how a performance‘choreographs’ behaviour such as ‘empathy’, I combine choreographing as a relationalconcept with methods of performance analysis by Liesbeth Groot Nibbelink and MaaikeBleeker that allow for exploring spectatorship as an embodied and embedded practice. Bythese means I argue that the performances WHILE WE STRIVE, Pandora’s DopBox and TheCube choreograph spectatorship in ways that invite the vibrant, metaphorical and micromobility of the spectator. I investigate how the overall composition of staged actions,sequences and qualities composes patterns of sensorial address and/or (metaphorical)positions of the spectator. A particular quality of these patterns and positions staged for thespectator is that they disturb a continuous identification with a (human) performer andbring the attention of the spectator towards her/his own process relating to, perceiving andengaging with the performance. Thereby movement in various appearances, intensities anddynamics accumulates in specific means. Such means of movement I relate to the notion ofmoving ‘freely’ by dance theorist André Lepecki.

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