Class for Performative Arts, Isabel Lewis

The class for performative arts deals with the composition of time-based dramaturgies from the bodily perspectives of the experiential, the relational, and the situational. Drawing from a  range of performative approaches and methodologies from contemporary dance and postdramatic theater to live art, contemporary scenography, and new media performance, this class is not limited  by a particular format or mode of presentation. Here our artistic research and development seeks to contribute to and to further contemporary performance discourses and practices. Taking into consideration the situatedness of all forms of knowledge, creative processes, and artistic gestures this class analyses and reflects upon the ways we mediate our relations within our “biosocial surround,” paying close attention to the intersections of artistic practice and ecological thinking. The class is itself regarded as a site for pedagogical experimentation in which all participants including professors and guest lecturers form a learning community and as such has a particular emphasis on each individual’s participation in discussions, group processes, and knowledge and practice exchange. Regular class meetings incorporate inclusive bodywork and movement for participants with all abilities as a foundation upon which build up strategies of reaction and response to the conditions of contemporary culture in critically engaged and generative ways. Another key aspect of the class is the frequent showing of work-in-progress in which the entire class participates in the feedback process. The class will in this way develop practical experience in conceptualizing, composing, installing, communicating about and presenting performative works. In addition to the bodywork and composition exercises the class will also be supported with theoretical and artistic input in the form of both literary and theoretical readings as well as one-to-one consultation, guest lectures, class trips, and workshops.