‘Dear Participant’ – training, rehearsal and response in the work of Goat Island performance group and Francis Alÿs

Bailes, Sara Jane (2013) ‘Dear Participant’ – training, rehearsal and response in the work of Goat Island performance group and Francis Alÿs. Theatre, Dance and Performance Training, 4 (1). pp. 4-29. ISSN 1944-3927

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Within the realms of collaborative performance practice, ‘devising’ has become a commonly used term, yet it tells us little more than that an often original process of invention has been elaborated in order to make and rehearse newly composed work. How might we begin to articulate and organise this unmarked and often purposefully a-systematic terrain, one that values the individual yet emphasises collaboration, response and participation as fundamental to a more ethical approach to theatre-making? And how might such processes encourage us to rethink the term ‘training’? Written in two parts, including a scripted collaborative ‘performed dialogue’ (co-authored with ex-Goat Island member, Karen Christopher), this article speculates on questions of training, rehearsal and approaches to collaborative composition examined through the performances and Summer Schools of the now-disbanded Chicago performance group, Goat Island, and the writing and works of Belgian-born artist, Francis Alÿs. Rehearsal, suggests Alÿs – a process that aims to preserve uncertainty and deliberation – defines a condition of art practice that certain artists and groups gravitate towards for political, economic, social and aesthetic reasons. Rehearsal can propose a resistant state, reminding us of the world before it settles and the potentiality of conditions that are immanent. Performance itself is the enactment of the dream of a present moment, repeated. Part essay, part conversation, this two-part article considers some of the implications and digressions of such interests.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of English > English
Depositing User: Sara Bailes
Date Deposited: 04 Oct 2013 08:17
Last Modified: 04 Oct 2013 08:17
URI: http://srodev.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/27970
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