The book advances our understanding of performance as a mode of caring and explores the relationship between socially engaged performance and care. It creates a dialogue between theatre and performance, care ethics and other disciplinary areas such as youth and disability studies, nursing, criminal justice and social care. Challenging existing debates in this area by rethinking the caring encounter as a performed, embodied experience and interrogating the boundaries between care practice and performance, the book engages with a wide range of different care performances drawn from interdisciplinary and international settings. Drawing on interdisciplinary debates, the edited collection examines how the field of performance and the aesthetic and ethico-political structures that determine its relationship with the social might be challenged by an examination of inter-human care. It interrogates how performance might be understood as caring or uncaring, careless or careful, and correlatively how care can be conceptualised as artful, aesthetic, authentic or even ‘fake’ and ‘staged’. Through a focus on care and performance, the contributors in the book consider how performance operates as a mode of caring for others and how dialogical debates between the theory and practice of care and performance making might foster a greater understanding of how the caring encounter is embodied and experienced.
Fluidity and reciprocity in the performance of caring in Fevered Sleep’s Men & Girls Dance
Amanda Stuart Fisher
together’ (Fevered Sleep, 2017 ). While the production certainly celebrates adults and children being and dancing together, Men & Girls Dance arguably achieves much more than this and performs a mode of caring that both challenges and extends our understanding of both our preconceptions of encounters between men and girls and how we think about strength, vulnerability and the power structures of care in performance. Through its improvisational structure and choreography, Men & Girls Dance critiques many of the gender-normative assumptions that often become projected
, sensitivity, trust, ingenuity, and creativity’ will itself promote the beneficial aspects of living in dependent relations with others (Kittay, 2015 : 67). These processes – which the argument here suggests can be found in arts projects with a well-developed aesthetics of care – can maintain and strengthen those mutually supportive human relations and promote the more equitable ‘conditions of our distinct human dignity’ that we all need (Kittay, 2015 : 67).
Judith Butler in her work on a ‘performative theory of assembly’ ( 2015 ) argues similarly for us to take account
Beholding young people’s experiences and expressions of care through oral history performance
Kathleen Gallagher and Rachel Turner-King
to engage him. They were all too aware that his attendance at the weekly sessions was precarious and that they had to earn his trust.
Helen Nicholson suggests that trust, underpinned by an ethic of care, is performed through the outward gestures and ‘particular actions’ of the body, ‘trust is a performative act, which is publicly visible in social action’ ( 2002 : 88). These micro-gestures of care performed by CYT’s leaders modelled a sociality and conviviality that was reflected in the youth group’s behaviour towards each other. Repeatedly, the young people
– objective. That means making the right decisions without their emotions all muddying it. (Extract from Dear Home Office , Harrison et al ., 2016 : 20–1)
Devised and performed by unaccompanied minor refugee actors, Dear Home Office was the inaugural production of the newly founded Phosphoros Theatre. 1 In the extract above, we see Kate, a key worker at the housing association that supports Tariq, trying to explain the UK asylum system’s assessment processes and the culture of suspicion and distrust that pervades it. It is a poignant moment in the play, highlighting
inject another voice – of non-human or more-than-human material ecologies – further expanding Fisher and Tronto’s world care through contemporary post-human and new materialist thinking to explore the potential for affective care in material labours of repair. Emboldened by a post-human new materialist understanding of agency, we suggest that this is not just a species activity, but a labour co-performed by a caring ecology of ontologically diverse agents ( Figure 6.1 ).
Figure 6.1 A woman-machine named Desiré, alert, poised, ready to start
In this chapter
This chapter discusses how artists’ performative engagements with processes of caring for objects can establish new models of relational care with and for older people residing in care homes, especially those living with dementia. The chapter focuses on an art project I created and led in a care home in south London in 2014 as part of my PhD. 1 In my examination of what this project set out to do and what it achieved, I apply Fisher and Tronto’s ( 1990 ) definition of ‘caring about’ and ‘caregiving’ to processes of caring for objects. I consider how
Syrian displacement and care in contemporary Beirut
Ella Parry- Davies
perceptual coordinates offered by performance, which emphasise the actions and processes that have enabled and conditioned their production. A focus on performance thus attends to the social and aesthetic care that the images perform and depend upon. This propels my problematisation of a historical tendency in some performance theory to associate migration with liminality, and with transgressing the interdependency of living-as-usual. In this chapter, I argue that to perform scholarship ‘care-fully’ (Thompson, 2015 : 438), by recognising the specificities and complexities
care, we seldom attend to our caring capacities and develop them to their potential. A caring improvisation is a moment when we draw upon a set of rehearsed cognitive and bodily skills of enquiry and action to responsively perform care on behalf of the needs of others. Perhaps it seems odd to claim that improvisation is rehearsed, but many elements are indeed practised albeit not in rote or deterministic ways. The learned habit of improvisation is still a habit. All care is ultimately improvisational because we respond to the other in the moment including their
An examination of Godder’s socially engaged art and participatory dance for Parkinson’s work
apse decorated with large, white-bodied angels, with painted walls soaring upwards to a high ceiling depicting biblical scenes. Prior to the beginning of the performance chairs are set in a pattern that follows the architecture of each individual space where the work is performed (sometimes a square, sometimes a rectangle, even a hexagon). In the chapel in Bassano, the chairs face the centre of the nave and this is where the audience and company dancers sit. At first in silence, one dancer stands up and walks over to a random audience member. Offering their hand