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Activating simultaneity in performance : exploring Robert Lepage's working principles in the making of Gaijin

Knapton, Benjamin (2008) Activating simultaneity in performance : exploring Robert Lepage's working principles in the making of Gaijin. Masters by Research thesis, Queensland University of Technology.

Abstract

In this research I have explored the performance making process of world renowned director Robert Lepage. This exploration informed my own process, creating an original performance called GAIJIN, where my roles included producer / director / designer and co-writer. The practice-led research strategy employed in this research has allowed me to navigate the sometimes slippery slope of connecting various performance discourses with the pragmatics of the performance making process. The reason for this research is my strong interest in the director’s role and my affinity with the practice of Robert Lepage. My observation of the performance making process of Robert Lepage prompted the creation of a conceptual framework informed by Hans-Thies Lehmann’s work Postdramatic Theatre. These theoretical concerns were then further investigated in the creation of my own show. This research process has uncovered a performance making process that foregrounds the working principles of simultaneity and synaesthesia, which together offer a changed conception of the performance text in live performance. Simultaneity is a space of chaotic interaction where many resources are used to build a perpetually evolving performance text. Synaesthesia is the type of navigation required – an engagement consisting of interrelated sense-impressions that uniquely connect the performance makers with the abundance of content and stimulus; they search for poetic connections and harmonious movement between the resources. This engagement relies on intuitive playmaking where the artists must exhibit restraint and reserve to privilege the interaction of resources and observe the emerging performance. This process has the potential to create a performance that is built by referential layers of theatrical signifiers and impressions.

This research offers an insight into the practices of Robert Lepage as well as a lens through which to view other unique devising processes. It also offers a performance making language that is worthy of consideration by all performance makers, from directors to performers. The significance of this process is its inherent qualities of innovation produced by all manner of art forms and resources interacting in a unique performance making space.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 16583
Item Type: QUT Thesis (Masters by Research)
Keywords: collaboration, contemporary performance, devised theatre, interaction, intuition, performance making, performance text, postdramatic theatre, process, Robert Lepage, simultaneity, synaesthesia
Divisions: Current > Schools > Drama
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Department: Faculty of Creative Industries
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Copyright Owner: Copyright Benjamin Knapton
Deposited On: 03 Dec 2008 14:06
Last Modified: 09 Feb 2011 23:52

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