Towards Tomorrow?


Fundamental(ist)s of Performance

Towards Tomorrow?; 7-10 April 2005; Centre for Performance Research University of Wales, Aberystwyth, Wales, UK; theatre X performance.

As The Centre for Performance Research (CPR) celebrates thirty years of work, this conference will build upon and extend the dialogues and debates that CPR has forged over its long journey from research laboratory to research centre.’ Towards Tomorrow?’ will examine the complex relation between performance and theatre: the past, present and future of ‘performance’ and ‘theatre’ and their aesthetic practices.

CPR’s anniversary publication Testimony from the Future, Evidence of the Past will be launched at this gathering and a complementary publication is planned to emerge from Towards Tomorrow? with a range of international contributions that seek to reorient the discipline of performance and to demonstrate its increasing relevance in many areas of cultural studies, philosophy and the arts.

Call for x,y and z: (where z = Discussions, Provocations, Polemics, Experiments, Manifestos, Papers, Confessions, Screenings and Demonstrations)

As part of the programme of this event there will be panels addressing aspects of performance and theatre that relate to broad themes of risk and failure, the future and generations, events and institutions and practice as research.

There will be a ‘platform, soapbox, and propaganda’ station ‘In Extremis: Fundamental(ist)s of Performance’, for the promulgation and dissemination of extreme enthusiasms, radical obsessions, pristine lies and rotten truth. It will be a space to present ideas contemporary, anachronistic, contentious and conformist.

A programme of ‘talk back’ sessions are planned where artists and performers address scholars who have explored their work; reversing the direction of enquiry and facilitating dialogue between practice and criticism.

We encourage proposals to lead enquiries relating to the concerns of this event, either following the themes suggested below, or generating different areas of enquiry. Also proposals for individual presentations or papers within these panels are invited, each should include a 300 word abstract for a presentation of 20 minutes duration.

Possible themes may include:

‘Before the age of Performance’
‘The Weave of Performance’
‘Staging Play: The Future of the Field’
‘And where were you on the evening of…?: Artists and Practitioners
interrogate Theorists’
‘The Dangers of Failure: risking performance’
‘Disturbing Performance’
‘The Doing, Re-Doing and Undoing of Performance’

Please send proposals and/or abstracts, or register interest in ‘talk back’ or ‘fundamental(ist)s’ sessions by 10th January 2005, (we will respond by 24th January) to Dr Daniel Watt ,The Centre for Performance Research, Unit 6, Science Park, Aberystwyth, SY23 3AH, Tel: + 44 (0)1970 622133, Fax: +44 (0)1970 622132

At this major gathering of key practitioners and scholars from around the world the conference programme will comprise:

Performances – from Wales, Europe and beyond
Expositions – understanding the state of play
Workshops – drawing from the crucible of cutting-edge practice
Panels and Debates – to challenge and cultivate new directions
Interrogations and Enthusiasms – Strategic ‘open’ sessions
Feasts – where food becomes event
Excursions – taking advantage of our local landscape

Towards Tomorrow?
Temporalities: Then, Now, To Come

Then: Theoretical discourse has structured and transformed the environments of theatre and performance. Towards Tomorrow? provides a FORUM for both a critical reflection on performance and the nature of cultural theory and to assess its future both beyond and within the academy.

Now: The event of performance, its practice and presence will be explored. There will be OPPORTUNITIES for practitioners to interrogate theorists and for the statement of radical agendas and manifestos.

To Come: The development of the future of the field belongs to another GENERATION. This gathering will not determine such a future, but it will be determined to keep open all possible transformations, evolutions and revolutions that may be on their way.

Towards Tomorrow? will explore the relation between theatre and performance, risk and failure, events and institutions to understand how the possibilities of performance, and the history of organisations such as CPR, might be considered?

Is there a fractal structure (a finite area bounded by an infinite distance) to the discipline, its manifestation as practice and its future, as yet unknown, transformations? What are the issues of survival: of a discipline and its practice, its organisations, and the relationship with the academy?

How does the spiritual aspect of performance – space, body, time and imagination – integrate and challenge both the formal and the theoretical articulations of work? Does such a consideration generate its own eschatology; if so, what is the apocalypse of performance?

Some Operations…..
Towards Tomorrow? includes In Extremis: Fundamental(ist)s of Performance a ‘platform, soapbox, and propaganda’ station, for the promulgation and dissemination of extreme enthusiasms, radical obsessions, pristine lies and rotten truth. A space to present ideas: contemporary, anachronistic, contentious and conformist.

Towards Tomorrow? will offer a programme of performances and workshops alongside numerous presentations of archive photographic and video material from theatre companies and performers from across the world.

The schedule for each day will include KEYNOTES (confirmed contributors include: Philip Auslander, Guillermo Gomez-Pena, Jane Goodall, Dragan Klaic, Michal Kobialka, Jon McKenzie, Susan Melrose, Marion Pastor Roces, Freddie Rokem, Rebecca Schneider and Stelarc), PANEL SESSIONS, a PRACTICAL or RESEARCH ENQUIRY element and the opportunity for artists and performers, from key phases of experiment over the past 40 years, to ‘talk back’ to theorists and commentators who have addressed their work.

Questions of tomorrow must also be concerned with generations, the potential of youth and the energy and vitality it will provide performance in the future. Towards Tomorrow? will include Generation24. Our panel of young practitioners of the future, from schools and colleges in Wales and internationally, who will observe and intervene in the proceedings with the interruptive urgency of the future’s call.

Continuing the CPR tradition for high quality events staged in an individual way

Throughout the event care is taken to forge links between people and ideas and to create formal and informal opportunities for people to exchange information about current and future projects. CPR’s long history of bringing together international performance practitioners and scholars in a potent spirit of debate/friendship, argument/opposition also serves as the occasion to highlight and focus work at the forefront of future developments in the field.

30 + 10: Throughout 2004/5 CPR will be celebrating 30 years of work and 10 years in Aberystwyth.

Antony Pickthall
Marketing & Development Director
Centre for Performance Research (CPR)
6, Science Park, Aberystwyth, SY23 3AH
Tel: +44 (0) 1970 621571
Fax: +44 (0) 1970 622132

For the curious…opening up worlds of performance

Dec 28, 07:18

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