Selling your soul and counting the benefits: collaborative practice in performance

Savage, Karen and Symonds, Dominic (2012) Selling your soul and counting the benefits: collaborative practice in performance. In: Performance Studies international PSi#18, 27 June - 1 July 2012, University of Leeds.

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Item Type:Conference or Workshop contribution (Paper)
Item Status:Live Archive

Abstract

Practice as research in performance, which is becoming increasingly accepted in UK performance research culture, often involves collaborative practice. The ongoing reflexivity of the practice as research process means that one element of emerging knowledge awareness comes to focus on the nature of collaboration itself. This paper reflects on the experiences of the collaborative practice-as-research musical theatre project ‘Sweet FA’, which took place at the New Theatre Royal (Portsmouth) and the University of Portsmouth in late 2009. Previous presentations of our work have conceptualised the relationship between collaborators in metaphorical terms, seeing the process as musical (working in harmony/syncopation) or filmic (fading between ideas). This paper will conceptualise the relationship between collaborators (or co-labourers) in economic terms, seeing various forms of collaboration through the metaphors of the production line, exchange and trade, and commodification. In particular, we see a distinction between the regular practice of the theatre industry, whose labour is passed from role to role (playwright to director to actor to audience), and the practice of practice as research, whose shared exploration is both less linear and less hierarchical. No longer are the roles so easily distinguished, and the creation of ideas (and ultimately product) through collaborative process becomes one which offers surplus value to the wealth of the collaborative economy. This playful deconstruction of practice as research turns the practice of this paradigm on its head, theorising the practical encounter through its own reflexivity.

Additional Information:Abstract from Conference: Exploring the collaborative practice of practice as research in performance, we conceptualise the relationship between collaborators (co-labourers) in economic terms, seeing various forms of collaboration metaphorically as production lines, trades, and commodifying practices. This playful deconstruction turns the practice of practice as research on its head, theorising the encounter through its own reflexivity.
Keywords:collaboration, economy, performance, interdisciplinary, theatre
Subjects:W Creative Arts and Design > W430 Producing for Theatre
Divisions:College of Arts > School of Fine & Performing Arts > School of Fine & Performing Arts (Performing Arts)
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ID Code:15464
Deposited On:16 Oct 2014 08:18

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