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Now and again : strategies for truthful performance

posted on 22.02.2017, 03:37 by Fraser, Peter
This thesis considers whether there is some kind of truth that shows itself in performance and how it is achieved. The investigation focuses on somatic practices and the performer's own awareness. It outlines concepts of authenticity and truth (particularly ontological truth) that might be relevant to bodily experience and (with particular reference to Drew Leder) whether the discontinuity in embodied experience is an obstacle, or a means, to experiencing or perceiving truth. Despite being Husserl's 'remarkably incompletely constituted thing,' the body makes available our sense of a continuous world, a continuous body and a unified Self. These perceived unities, of body, identity and world, block from view the moments and processes by which they come to be, but these unities, as habitually experienced, can be disrupted, creating a 'gap' in which being-becoming becomes available to attention. Central to this process are attention, proprioceptive awareness (which provides both a means of observing the body in its transformations and of making those transformations), imagination and a willingness to improvise. The performance practices of Rosalind Crisp, Deborah Hay and Body Weather (originating from Min Tanaka) effect strategies that open 'gaps' as fields of becoming- focusing on attention, perceiving and being perceived, and omnicentral phenomenological investigation. The thesis discusses and documents 'Lizard -a box of gaps', my performance experiment in exploring, from within, the type of somatic experience and awareness provided by, seemingly, incompatible modes and ideologies of performance.


Principal supervisor

Sruart Grant

Year of Award


Department, School or Centre

Theatre and Performance

Campus location



Faculty of Arts