Encounters in Performance Philosophy
Book: Encounters in Performance Philosophy
Edited by: Laura Cull and Alice Laggay
Published by: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014
Edited by Laura Cull and Alice Lagaay, the book, ‘Encounters in Performance Philosophy’ is a collection of fourteen essays. The chapters are organized into eight themes, but all focus on the reciprocal relationship between performance and philosophy and the ways in which they shape and transform one another.
The first chapter explores the question of what Performance Philosophy actually entails, establishing a foundation upon the subsequent chapters to build upon. Lauro Cull argues that “Performance Philosophy is in fact a new interdisciplinary field in its own right, not just a ‘turn’ within Theatre and Performance Studies” (p.5). Chapter two titled, “On the Stage,” begins with Martin Pucher’s examination of theatrical spaces and their philosophical foundations. The author explores how theatre shapes our understanding of reality and knowledge acquisition. The subsequent chapters are “On the Actor,” “On the Body/in Performance Philosophy,” “On Performativity and Language,” and “On Tragedy.” In the section “On the Actor,” Freddie Rokem’s essay delves into the metaphysics of theatre, focusing on the relationship between the One and the Many through the interaction between text and performance, subject and role, and appearance and reality (p.7). Authors, Emmanuel Alloa and Katja Rothe examine the question of the body, both in and of Performance Philosophy. Alloa delves into the writings of Maurice Merleau-Ponty to explore the body’s significance in performance, while Rothe investigates the history of a group of female rhythmic gymnasts.
“Performance is understood as a broader term than theatre, rather than the reverse, and hence the term Performance Philosophy incorporates music, dance and performance on screens, as well as the other kinds of social performance included in Richard Schechner’s broad- spectrum definition.” (p.4).Encounters in Performance Philosophy