Graphic of a laptop with a person looking out, surrounded by four drawings of people in different poses

Changing Perspectives on Performance

Changing Perspectives on Performance is an international research network exploring the practice of theatre, dance, film and performance that emerged during and after the Covid-19 pandemic.
Graphic design by Celeste DeCis

The research network is interested in the confluence of artistic and academic practices that have evolved through abrupt changes and differing conditions.

It wishes to examine how this has changed the dynamics and the meaning of live performance which has embraced digital and screen technology and aesthetics.

It also aims to foster exchanges and share experiences of new modes of working amongst artist-researchers, artists and researchers from across the globe.

What it is

Changing Perspectives on Performance discusses, creates and explores new ways of performance making that emerged during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The past few years, marked by a world pandemic, have brought changing circumstances to the artistic and performance scene. The impossibility of gathering, rehearsing and performing to live audiences has forced artists to investigate new alternatives of not only performing their work but also financially supporting themselves.

This has affected both the aesthetics of performance-making and the professional practices of performance-makers. Changes in formats have created new ways of reaching audiences which have more fully exploited an ever-increasing engagement with a wide variety of screen-based technology and digital platforms.

This research group was created during the organisation of the 2021 conference, Changing Perspectives on Live Performance: Interrogating digital dimensions and new modes of engagement, as a collaboration among academics and practitioners working in Australia, Brazil and the United Kingdom: Dr Eva Aymami Rene, Dr Patricia Di Ricio, Dr Melina Scialom and Dr Naz Yeni.

It maintains its activities and network aiming to develop publications and other artistic-academic conjunctions that invite practice and thinking from around the globe.

Who we are

Eva Aymami Rene

Eva Aymami Rene is a scholar, dancer and choreographer. A Senior Lecturer of Dance at ARU, her research focuses on performance of political identities and the construction of gender identity in contemporary Europe.

Having completed her PhD thesis, Choreographing the Silence, Women Dancing Democracy in Post-Franco Spain, at the University of Surrey, Guildford, Eva continues her research in dance as a corporeal language to speak of memories and silence in Post-Franco Spain. A Fulbright Scholarship recipient, she has also researched dance as a construction of social protest at UCLA's Department of World Arts and Culture.

Eva has danced and choreographed in different theatre productions in Barcelona with La Fura dels Baus and Less 4 Souffles, and in Los Angeles with Maria Gillespie and Victoria Marks, while she also developed community projects with the American Veterans Association, Pina Bausch in Germany and Rosas Dance Company in Brussels.

Eva graduated in 2001 in Social and Cultural Anthropology, from the University Autonoma of Barcelona, and simultaneously from the Contemporary Dance and Choreography programme at the Institute of the Theatre, the conservatory of Barcelona, Spain.

Patricia di Ricio

Patricia Di Risio is a lecturer in Film, Media and Journalism at Monash College (Monash University). She completed her doctoral thesis at the University of Melbourne and her research focuses on unconventional representations of women and femininity in 1990s Hollywood.

Patricia’s research explores the impact of such representations on genre filmmaking practices and considers the positive and innovative changes that feminist and queer discourses have had on commercial cinema.

Patricia has taught film, media and theatre studies in Italy, the UK and Australia. She is a filmmaker profiles writer for the Melbourne Women in Film Festival (MWFF) and a freelance theatre reviewer for Stage Whispers.

Melina Scialom

Melina Scialom is a performer, choreologist, dramaturge and dance researcher. She is currently a Research Fellow at the Postgraduate Programme in Performing Arts (UFBA) in Brazil, where she collaborates with Professor Ciane Fernandes in her Somatic-Performative Research approach, and teaches undergraduate and postgraduate courses.

With a PhD in Dance from the University of Roehampton, UK, and a Specialist Diploma in Choreological Studies (Trinity Laban, UK), Melina's current interests lie in contemporary practices associated to Laban praxis, practice-based, embodied and somatic research enquiries in the field of dance making and dramaturgy.

Melina is artistic director of the dance company Maya-Lila (since 2005) where she performs and dramaturges dance performances.

Naz Yeni

Naz Yeni is a theatre-maker, movement practitioner, researcher and lecturer. She trained in Hacettepe University Ankara State Conservatoire (Turkey) and Birmingham School of Speech and Drama (UK).

Her acting credits include Lady Macbeth for Creation Theatre Company (Oxford) and chorus for City of Birmingham Touring Opera.

Naz's MA was in applied linguistics (King’s College London). Her MEd was in drama education (Cambridge University). Her PhD research at ARU is on theatre stylistics.

While re-training as a physical performer, Naz has studied the Six Viewpoints with Mary Overlie as well as with Anne Bogart and SITI Company, trained with Eugenio Barba and Odin Teatret, specialised in Laban-based creative dance and movement analysis. Her directing credits include Turkish State Theatres and Arcola Theatre’s Creative Disruptions Festival (London).

Performing Activism: Re-claim 2023

Re-claim, Re-shape, Re-make is a collaborative performance project between theatre maker and scholar Naz Yeni and dance scholar and choreographer Eva Aymami Rene.

Exploring embodied forms of protest and resistance, this project proposes a study of movement and the body as agents for social change. By bringing together different material from a wide range of performance-makers, the aim is to offer an interactive space to artists from the community and the creative industries.

Resistance and protest can come in many different shapes and forms. This performance project makes seen what is deemed to be invisible to others by underlining its performativity. This way what can become disposable for others can be brought to attention in order to be shaped in meaningful forms. What is the role of artists and citizens in the post-covid scene? How can our bodies propose ways of social interaction that bring a sense of togetherness?

In the end, what persists for some can be exchanged with others by being shared within the space of the performance. The result is having these reclaimed by society in performing activism through the body.

Poster for Performing Activism: Re-claim, re-shape, remake, on Saturday 1 April at ARU as part of the Cambridge Festival, featuring an arm and two legs coming in from outside of the frame

As part of the project, an event was held on 1 April 2023 for the Cambridge Festival, featuring a dance workshop for performers, a performance created from independent material from professional and community artists, and a movement choir (open to the community).

Conference 2021

This Season’s Drama and the Vanya on 42nd Street Solution

Mark Nicholls Keynote Abstract

This address considers the current live performance crisis by looking for solutions in the Andre Gregory and Louis Malle collaboration film, Vanya on 42nd Street (1994).  Part performance of Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya, part conservation of the Andre Gregory/David Mamet/Wallace Shawn “Vanya” project, Vanya on 42nd Street presents a range of enduring benefits and problems associated with the, apparently natural, group marriage of film and theatre folk.

New Times, New Forms, New Spectatorship

Maria Shevtsova

Observations on several key principles of analysis for a social rather than only formal perception of artistic processes and stylistics in times of change frame the examples here chosen of theatre in which digital film (Castorf, Bogomolov, Mitchell, Marina Abramovic) is a compositional element. The latter  – the first three directors are foundational practitioners of live-film theatre – occurred well before Covid-19 turned digital means into a necessity of communication. Theatre (in the broadest sense of the term, including dance, opera and mixed-arts creations) is, of course, far more than communication, given its collaborative, collective, and – in salient cases– ensemble practices (Bogart, among many others in the legacy of Stanislavsky, innovator of ensemble and laboratory theatre). Practices during the high Covid period have introduced new performance modes but also new modes of spectatorship that appear to differ for streamed pre-Covid works from works specifically designed for digital dissemination (Kwame Kwei-Armah, Peter Sellars). Spectating in two international festivals cited in this talk is briefly linked to Luk Perceval’s online premiere of his partially lockdown theatre film  – one of a planned live trilogy. Questions raised by the various details noted and points made are only first steps towards an area that requires a good deal of thought as it evolves with unknown changes to come.