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.
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.
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 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 is a performer, choreologist, dramaturge and dance researcher. She is currently a Senior Lecturer in Academic and Contextual Studies at the School of Dance at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts. She collaborates with a range of artists and researchers in performance making and writing, having published work on a range of international journals.
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).
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.
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).
Changing Perspectives on Live Performance: Interrogating digital dimensions and new modes of engagement was an online international symposium for academics and practitioners hosted on 8-9 October 2021 by ARU.
The previous year had brought changing circumstances to the performance scene. The impossibility of rehearsing and performing to live audiences forced artists to investigate new alternatives. This affected both the aesthetics of performance-making and the professional practices of performance-makers.
Changes in formats created new ways of reaching audiences, which more fully exploited an ever-increasing engagement with a wide variety of screen-based technology and digital platforms.
This significantly transformed live performances, which have adapted to new ways of working and resulted in resourceful and imaginative alternatives and variations.
Identifying the features of these changes highlights pioneering directions for the future of live performance. This involves developments in the relationship between dance, theatre and film, offering digital innovations within liveness that this symposium wished to identify and analyse.
We welcomed presentations, provocations, workshops, and performances as part of the proposals for participating in the symposium. The aim was to identify and analyse the transformations and generate new conversations among artists and theoreticians.
Anne Bogart (Theatre director, SITI Company, USA)
Dr Mark Nicholls (University of Melbourne, Australia)
Prof Maria Shevtsova (Goldsmiths, University of London, UK)
Wim Vandekeybus (Choreographer and theatre director, Ultima Vez, Belgium)
Dr Kasia Lech (Senior Lecturer in Performing Arts, Canterbury Christ Church University, UK)
João de Ricardo (Artistic director of Cia Espaço em Branco - Blank Space Company, Brazil)
Charlotte Vincent (Artistic Director of Vincent Dance Theatre, UK)
Open Workshops by:
Adrianna La Selva and Marije Nie, from Parliament of Practices
Chloe Payne, Alex Dault, Liam Karry and Stephen Atkins, Rehearsing in Virtual Reality