The ‘On Practice’ workshop is designed as an in-depth examination of the participants’ performance practices. We will consider what drives us to make the work that we make, how we approach developing it, and what methods we use for evaluating the success of the work. The workshop includes discussion as well as performance exercises. A significant component of the workshop will be private reflection and writing in response to a series of questions.
We begin with participants introducing their work by presenting documentation of a selection of their past performances. A set of questions are distributed in advance of this introduction to which participants are expected to write answers, and those questions help shape the conversation.
The workshop unfolds through a series of performance exercises that dissect our methods, examining different aspects of the strategies and approaches that we use to create and evaluate performances.
Some of the topics that are covered include:
• How do you define the notion of “presence” in your performances? In what ways are you different in them than you are in your everyday life? What allows you to enter the work fully, and what interferes with it?
• What kind of preparations must you make in order be able to perform?What rules do you follow, consciously or unconsciously? Or, said in reverse – what do you never allow yourself to do in a performance?
•What is the role of the viewer/witness in your performances?
An element of the workshop is to create a performance unlike what you normally do. In the safety of a workshop setting, you have the opportunity to make work that challenges your boundaries, that pushes you into unfamiliar realms to experiment with a new approach to performance. Continued discussion, as well as writing about the differences and similarities to your usual work should further illuminate and expand upon the initial questions about your practice.