CFP: IFTR Special Panel

IFTR 2016, Stockholm
13-17 June

Indian Theatre Special Panel on Taste

An Indian Theatre Special Panel is taking place at the IFTR 2016 in Stockholm as part of the Performance and Consciousness working Group activity. Critical reflections, theoretical speculations, scholarly demonstrations and practical workshops are invited on this topic. The aim of the working group is not only to understand the ways, in which this sensory experience has been conceptualized, theorized, trained and practiced in Indian theatre but also to understand its critical and artistic implications in theatre and performance studies in recent years.

CALL FOR PAPERS:

Indian performance theory and practice have given greater emphasis on the concept of taste. It is invisible and immaterial, but it offers the essence of a strong experience of objects, emotions and events through a careful evocation of skeleto-muscular apparatus of the performer’s body. Taste, in this sense, can neither be described nor explained, but can only be experienced and performed. Taste is a sensory experience and therefore, it does not fall into the category of visual representation. Taste is not the imitation of a particular act, neither it is the ‘act’ itself. The enactment of taste is presented in a performance through series of movements rather than the semiotic organization of visual material, text and bodies. Taste, here, in this sense, is a methodology of practice that evokes physical reactions and memories with traceable emotional contents. Taste is also about physicality and recollection, memory and form, embodiment and re-enactment. The actor does not imitate or enact a person or a situation, and acting becomes a performative reflection in which the actor only re-enacts what s/he felt. This re-enactment of the taste in the body has received greater attention in Indian performance discourse and practice as a distinctive way of exploring the artistic creativity of the actor through physicalized imaginations where the body becomes the terrain of kinetic imageries.

The re-enactment of taste in the body presents two trajectories of practice that are training and performance. The training methods in Indian performance forms enable the actor to perform taste in the body through a careful evocative articulation of the bodily parts such as eyes, hands, foot and face. The aim and purpose of the performance, in turn, for the audience, is to identify, share, experience and visualize the tastes presented in the actor’s body. The taste-based concept, discourse, training methods and performance practice in Indian theatre will form number of questions that are not limited to, but including the following:

  1. What is the concept of re-enactment of taste in the body and how could this be understood in contemporary theory and practice of theatre and performance studies?
  2. What is the method of training that enables the actor to perform taste in the body?
  3. What is performing taste in the body and how new critical scenarios and practical synergies can be developed through a taste-based performance discourse?
  4. What is the role of imagination in the taste-based training and performance practice, and how the ‘invisible’ and ‘immaterial’ can be performed through the re-enactment of taste in the body?
  5. What is the literary representation of taste in playwriting and what is the possibility of a new playwriting on taste?
  6. Is taste a culturally modulated experience? Does blending of tastes in an intercultural performance context enhance, limit or problematize performative digestion of taste?

To contribute a paper, scholarly demonstration of practice and workshop proposal, please submit the abstract (not more than 300 words) and your CV under Performance and Consciousness working group through the conference website at http://www.iftr.org/conference (Browsing route: click on “Abstract submission” and follow the instructions on the downloadable PDF file). Please mention in the abstract TO THE SPECIAL PANEL ON INDIAN THEATRE and send a copy of what you submit in the conference website to the Chair of the special panel Dr. Sreenath Nair: snair@lincoln.ac.uk.

The selected papers will be published in the forthcoming Indian Theatre Journal, Vol.1, Issue. 1, 2016.

DEADLINE FOR PROPOSALS: 15 January 2016.