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Risk in Performance: Facing the Future

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 July 2009

Abstract

While modern rational thinking has developed complex methods for calculating and managing risk, the better forecast and prepare for the future, certain modern performance practices have embraced the element of risk. In this article I interrogate this phenomenon, offering a distinction between risk-taking in modernist and postmodernist performance. Whereas in the former risk serves to transcend the representational aspects of performance, in the later it is banalized, revealing its inevitability in both performance situations and everyday life.

Type
Articles
Copyright
Copyright © International Federation for Theatre Research 2009

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References

NOTES

1 Levitas, Ruth, ‘The Future of Thinking about the Future’, in Bird, Jon et al. , eds., Mapping the Future: Local Cultures, Global Change (London and New York: Routledge, 1993), pp. 257–66, here p. 258Google Scholar.

2 Beck, Ulrich, Ecological Politics in the Age of Risk (Cambridge: Polity Press, 1995), p. 77Google Scholar.

3 See Lupton, Deborah, Risk (London and New York: Routledge, 1999), p. 13Google Scholar.

4 Giddens, Anthony, Modernity and Self-Identity: Self and Society in the Late Modern Age (Cambridge: Polity Press, 1991), p. 28Google Scholar.

5 Giddens, Anthony, ‘Risk Society: The Context of British Politics’, in Franklin, J., ed., The Politics of Risk Society (Cambridge: Polity Press, 1998), pp. 2334Google Scholar, here p. 27.

6 Giddens, Modernity and Self-Identity, pp. 3–4.

7 See ibid., pp. 30–1.

8 See also Lupton, Risk, pp. 153–7.

9 See Eugenio Barba's notion of the ‘decided body’, in Barba, Eugenio and Savarese, Nicola, A Dictionary of Theatre Anthropology: The Secrete Art of the Performer (London: Routledge, 1991), pp. 1718Google Scholar.

10 Schechner, Richard, Between Theatre and Anthropology (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1985), pp. 3540Google Scholar.

11 Barry Edwards, written correspondence, 12 July 1996.

12 See Roland Barthes's critical analysis of the fixated ‘bourgeois universe’ in Mythologies, tr. Annette Lavers (New York: Hill and Wang, 1984), p. 22.

13 Marinetti, Filippo Tommaso, Marinetti: Selected Writings (New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 1972), p. 41Google Scholar.

14 Ibid. p. 118.

15 Artaud, Antonin, Selected Writings, ed. Sontag, Susan, tr. Weaver, Helen (New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 1976), pp. 156–7Google Scholar.

16 Marc Fumaroli, ‘External Order, Internal Intimacy: An Interview with Jerzy Grotowski’, TDR, 14, 1 (Fall 1968), pp. 172–7, here p. 174.

17 William Shakespeare, Hamlet, Act III, sc. i, line 59.

18 Tim Etchells, ‘A Six-Thousand-and-Forty-Seven-Word Manifesto on Liveness in Three Parts with Three Interludes’, in Adrian Heathfield, ed., Live: Art and Performance (London: Tate Publishing, 2004), pp. 210–17, here p. 213.