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Theatre Performance in Postmodernism

Abstract

The present paper aims to investigate, in brief, the controversial relationship between postmodernism and modernism; to outline, synthetically, the specific procedures of conceiving theatre performance in postmodernity; to analyze the performance narrative that, in postmodern era, reveals the indicible and the existential fragmentation. The research is carried out taking into consideration the end of postmodernism which was announced since the middle of the first decade of the 21st century. At the same time, besides the attempt to observe the phenomenon in its theatrical implications, the study pursues to delineate the decontextualization of theatricality from theatrical space and its recontextualization in sociopolitical space. In conclusion, the perspective beyond the end of postmodernity from which theatricality is evaluated intends to avoid the partisan thinking that any attempt to treat postmodernity requires.

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Anxious Affinities: How Theatrical Performance Can Generate a Platform for Interpersonal Dialogue

Abstract

The article combines both philosophical and psychological approaches to argue that art and theatre performance especially can be grasped as a revelation of the universal and basic human concern, which is existential anxiety. The author presents an opinion, that via performative acts on stage, spectators and performers/actors are interconnected in hermeneutic situation (Hans-Georg Gadamer), in which they play their existential experience. Therefore, the universal death anxiety (Irvin D. Yalom) can be understood as a possible platform for interpersonal and intercultural dialogue (Martin Buber). The article concludes, that archetypes (Carl Gustav Jung) are such a place for mutual understanding, representing both mental and physical answers to the basic existential experience of humankind.

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On Seduction in Theatre Performance or the (Im)Possibility of a Demythisation

Abstract

Seduction doesn’t really refer to love. In fact, it isn’t at all directly related to love, but as the word’s etymology suggests, it is an intellectual act that means “to lead on a different path”, “to corrupt”. Starting from this point and considering it in regard to the theatre performance and audience, our main purpose in this paper is to identify the elements involved in the process of seduction that takes place in the performance space, but also the role of each one of these elements. We will make a series of approaches on a theoretical level, involving some exercises in semiotics, in an attempt to reformulate the relation between the performance and the audience. This paper asserts that the performance is acting the part of the seducer and the audience is the one being seduced, but also that there is a secret involved in this relation, enlarging the aesthetical notions related to the theatre performance, through the relevant functions of desire and intimacy.

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Theater Aesthetics from the First Signs to Postmodern Echoes

Abstract

In the second part of The Art of Theatre (the first presentation of the evolution of theatre aesthetics written by a Romanian author), George Banu highlights the dynamic essence of the performance, without excluding the existence of referential terms that structure its manifestations on the whole. The author calls them “means of communication that were imposed at the time”, means that start from a unitary significance given to the theatrical act. This significance is, according to George Banu, affiliated to a certain aesthetics, formulated with the help of historical determinations specific to theatre or emerged from each personality’s particularity.

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Inchbald’S Kotzebue: The Wise Man of the East (1799) and Social Assemblage Theory

Abstract

This article argues that Lord Mansfield's judgement in favour of the actor Charles Macklin in 1775 wrought a profound change on noisy and disruptive theatre auditoriums. Mansfield ruled that persons returning to theatres to repeatedly disrupt performances were guilty of conspiracy and performers' lost earning were assessed as felonies in English common law. Those found guilty might have substantial damages awarded against them and might be liable for a prison sentence. The paper traces that Garrick's Drury Lane was repeatedly disrupted but with no action being taken, even though ringleaders had been identified. Macklin's case, arising from his engagement at Covent Garden, suppressed repeatedly rowdy evenings. The paper suggests that Sarah Siddons's rise at Drury Lane from 1782 onwards was linked to these changes in the legal environment for stage performers.

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What Is Contemporary, After All, in the Contemporary Theatre Performance?

Abstract

This study intends to check how much Romanian performances of the last two decades owe to tradition and what is, nonetheless, contemporary in the ‘contemporary performance’. The study takes into consideration the shows produced in the public theatres, the ones which provide the overwhelming majority of the Romanian theatrical production.

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Sport and Art: Differences and Theatrical Similarities

Abstract

A certain tradition of philosophical considerations on the interrelation between sport and art has already been established. According to Tim L. Elcombe (Elcombe, 2012, p. 201), such considerations on the subject first appeared in English-language literature in the 1970s and 1980s, and were fruitful. Usually, they appear together with questions on the aesthetic properties of sport - in this case, a special issue of the Journal of the Philosophy of Sport dedicated to ―Sport and Aesthetics‖ (2012, vol. 39, no. 2), and an excellent postdoctoral dissertation by Jakub Mosz entitled ―Estetyczne aspekty uczestnictwa w sporcie‖ (English: Aesthetic aspects of participation in sports) may serve as good examples. In his article (Elcombe, 2012), Tim L. Elcombe describes the contention and briefly characterizes the main differences between the two opposing viewpoints (Elcombe, 2012, pp. 202-204). It should be noted that he sympathizes with the view of David Best, who some years ago argued that sport is not art (1988, pp. 527-539). He believes that ―although art could use sport as a subject, art could not be the subject of sport‖ (Elcombe, 2012, p. 202). I would like to make that statement more specific by adding that its second part suggests that the display of artistic values cannot be the fundamental purpose of sport. I shall expand on that later. Best's viewpoint was criticized by Jan Boxil (1988), Spencer Wertz (1988), and Terry Roberts (1995), who believed that sport could be treated as art. Christopher Cordner (1995a; 1995b) and Joseph Kupfer (1988) also challenged Best, although they did not entirely disagree with him (see: Elcombe, 2012, pp. 202-204). Because literature on the subject published in English presents diversified statements on the interrelation between sport and art, and the circle of people engaged in the matters of physical culture in Poland is still in favor of equating sport with art, I have decided to present my own stance on that matter.

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For a Phenomenology of the Interval in the Theatre performance. A Semiotic Analysis

Abstract

Theatre, in the notional complexity to be undertaken, updates and in this update it feels more pronounced the tendencies of increasing the performing spectrum. Writing about theatre inevitably leads you to set on something, on that attribute bringing the conviction that around its analysis the appreciative matters get interesting and reveal assumptions for future analysis.

The article we propose approaches theatre in the cardinal ambiguity of meanings, namely in what we call here interval. We assume an approximate delimitation of this range, balancing and improving the center-periphery relationship, and then establish ourselves to turn the performance itself into a phenomenon, with a double implication. Making a connection between the audience and the performance is not something new, but if the significance, the midpoint of this relationship is fractured in the process transmitter-receiver, can we not think of the possibility of the interval/range as a deconstruct refuge of meanings?

This paper asserts that if hiding the meaning becomes a phenomenon itself, it will be possible to read the performance by averaging this interval in which will be found, in the articulation of the public’s reception, the association of the cultural and theatrical codes.

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From a Single Presentation of Poetry Up to Its Stylized Stage Image in the Form of Theatre Performance

Abstract

In the 1940s the Drama Company of the Slovak National Theatre introduced four poetry productions, which demonstrated the stage potential of the symbiosis of verse and a music-accompanied recitation in an original stage design solution. The single presentation of poetry of Poézia revolúcie a boja [The Poetry of Revolution and Fight, 1945] directed by Ján Jamnický and Pásmo poézie Janka Jesenského [The Show of Poetry by Janko Jesenský, 1946] directed by Jozef Budský were the first independent attempts at staging selected poetry. Besides recitation, they were dominated by the visual sign, powerful music sometimes accompanied by the singing of individuals and a voice band, and distinctive lighting design. Botto’s Smrť Jánošíkova [The Death of Jánošík] and Sládkovič’s Marína (both in 1948) directed by Jozef Budský displayed all features of synthetic theatre, combining recitation, voice band singing, scenic and visual solutions, metaphor, originally composed music inspired by the folk song, dance, film screening, and meaningful lighting. Jozef Budský indirectly built on Czech theatre, particularly on E. F. Burian. Both masterpieces by the authors of Štúr’s generation (Ján Botto, Andrej Sládkovič) aroused the interest of the expert public and the audience. It triggered arguments about excessive directorial intervention and insufficient ideological character, especially in the theatre form of Marína.

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Theatre Performance of Radichkov’s Play an Attempt at Flying in the Jubilee 60th Season of the Slovak National Theatre

Abstract

The production of the play by Bulgarian playwright Yordan Radichkov An Attempt at Flying (premiered on 22 March 1980 at the Pavol Orzságh Hviezdoslav Theatre) is one of the most successful plays in the history of Slovak National Theatre Drama. The text-metaphor of the old age longing of mankind to fly and to recognize the unrecognizable, even for just a moment, offers on the axis of “magical realism” or grotesque realism”, in the words of the author, a humanistic picture of life and ideas in which the characters live their everyday life, they start a magical fantasy game and express many truths of the life. This article draws attention to the production of director Pavel Haspra through analysis of the play’s text, the production script and the TV recording of one of the last stage performances. Altogether over six years (from March 1980 to June 1987), 148 performances took place, both domestic and Czech critics writing about the extraordinary acting of all the participants. One cannot omit the significance and theatrical contribution of Vladimir Suchánek’s scenography vision with several symbolic and metaphorical dimensions (a hay cart hanging in the air, through which the villagers, who longed for just a moment of freedom, fulfilled their dreams).

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