Embodied Knowledge: Asian Performance Conference

Embodied Knowledge: Training & Performance Practice

10, 11 June 2016
Lincoln School of Fine and Performing Arts

 

Keynote: Prof Erika Fischer-Lichte, Free University of Berlin, Germany

Topic: The Body as Site of Interweaving Performance Cultures: Between Being a Body and Having a Body

 

Call for Papers:

The aim of the conference is to explore the terrain of embodied knowledge of Asian performance, specifically the ways in which distinctively different concepts and methods of practice inform and shape the idea of ‘performance’ as a critical paradigm. It is also the focus of the conference to reexamine and reevaluate the ways in which the embodied knowledge of Asian performance informs the development of intercultural theory, training methods and production practices for the last many decades.

Asian performance offers a rich vocabulary of concepts and methodologies of practices enabling a complex and multilayered psychophysical ‘process’ in which the ‘technique’ becomes the ‘knowledge’ of the body. ‘Technique’ gains the status of ‘knowledge’ in Asian performance. The body becomes an instrument in the hand of its user and the performance knowledge is transmitted through the practical mastery of the practice of the body. The technique shapes and defines the form of practice and this practice, in turn, is embedded in the techniques of the body. The knowledge of the body is evoked and delivered in performance through a series of gestures, movements, utterances, physical modulations and voice. The performer uses a series of motion trajectories and mental manoeuvres in this process. What is this ‘process’ of technique becoming the knowledge of the flesh and what are the psychophysical dynamics involved in this ‘process’? What do we learn from Asian performance about this embodied knowledge in performance practice and how do we understand and theorise this ‘process’ of the sensuous scholarship of the body across different spatialities and temporalities? Training methods in Asian theatre insist upon relentless repetitions to stabilise the learning of specific bodily techniques. The body remembers and repeats all the limb movements and their numbers mechanically while taking the body out of its restrictive principles of practice. Similarly, Asian performance traditions offer a dynamic body relationship and alternative performance modes that are syncretic and multi-generic, integrating dance, music, text, decorative and symbolic colour coding and much more. This is the wider context in which the convenors of this conference invite proposals for papers, workshops, lecture demonstrations or poster presentations on the topics including, but not limited to, these:

  • Choreography and movement;
  • Training: Concepts, methods, pedagogy and artistic practices;
  • Psychophysical processes: technique, repetition and physical transformation;
  • Eclecticism, fusion and the problems of Intercultural paradigm;
  • The future of intercultural exchange in the contemporary Asian/Western/ cyber cultural settings;
  • Politics of colour, race and ethnicity;
  • Knowing through the body/thinking through the body;
  • Women in Asian theatre: Gender, sexual and trance-gender identities;
  • The body: techniques, terminologies and practices;
  • Ritual and play.

Please submit an abstract proposal (not more than 350 words) and a 200 word biographical note to the co-directors of the conference: Dr Sreenath Nair: snair@lincoln.ac.uk and Dr Arya Madhavan: amadhavan@lincoln.ac.uk

Selected papers will be published in a special edited volume. Details to be announced soon.

 

DEADLINE FOR PROPOSALS: 15 March 2016

CONFIRMATIONS: 1 April 2016