Innovation and Interconnection
in Contemporary European Performance
25 - 26 April 2014
Moore Institute, National University of Ireland, Galway
European and Western performance discourse historically has often presumed a hegemonic and majority white field of practice despite an increasingly diverse European population. How does the present reality of European theatre and performance challenge traditional assumptions? And how specifically does formal innovation provide the space for critiques of power and hierarchy that may rework the concept of “Europe” as realized through performance? How have artists responded through form to neoliberalism and globalization in the wake of the most recent world economic crisis and how does their specifically European context set the terms of this response?
This conference queries what it means to define the field of European performance. As such, we invite submissions that will consider key debates in terminology surrounding innovative emerging work, seeking also to build on older genealogies of practice in Europe and beyond. For the purposes of this conference, we will use “European performance” to designate work that happens within the continent as opposed to the European Union exclusively, although these differential power dynamics will be crucial to our inquiry.
The spread of Live Art has put pressure on the institutional theatre as the primary cultural site for performance in many European nations. Yet, discussions about the usefulness and limits of postdramatic as an umbrella term for interdisciplinary work that resists overdetermining dramatic literature might seem to characterize this moment in European theatre and performance studies. Meanwhile, experimental performance methodologies including devising, site-specific approaches, performance art and new media are increasingly taught within universities, signaling an integration of knowledge that may confirm the field of the “contemporary” through institutional status, but suggests that these practices may no longer be the cutting edge. By considering macro-European trends in relationship to national case studies, “Pushing Form” will explore the meaning of “contemporary,” “European” and “performance” in relationship to each other. We hope to map not only the current field, but what may lie just beyond it.
For further information, please contact any of the conference organizers:
Dr Charlotte McIvor, NUI, Galway: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 00 353 91 492631
Dr Siobhán O'Gorman, Trinity College Dublin: email@example.com
Dr Miriam Haughton, University of Ulster: firstname.lastname@example.org
'Pushing Form' is sponsored by the Millennium Fund and NUI Galway Drama and English.