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Special performing ecologies edition tackles environmental issues

Wednesday 28 July 2021 8:37am

Performing ecologies group at work

A special edition of the Performance of the Real Journal explores how performance adds to understandings of our increasingly bleak ecological future.

Featuring articles by 14 scholars and creative practitioners from a variety of fields and artforms, the multi-disciplinary issue - entitled Performing Ecologies - was co-edited by Dr Jennifer Cattermole (Head of Programme, Music), Sofia Kalogeropoulou (Teaching Fellow in Dance), Hilary Halba (Associate Professor, Theatre Studies) and Professor Hazel Tucker (Tourism).

While exploring the dimensions of ‘performing ecologies’, contributors discussed how performance forms such as dance, theatre, puppetry, playwriting, music and gaming allow us to find alternatives to overplayed dichotomies – such as human and non-human, or human and nature – and enable “critique of human exceptionalism and people’s ability to find alternate ways of being and belonging in a more-than-human world.”

One performance, produced in collaboration with Random Acts of Art, was Watermark. Choreographed by Sofia Kalogeropoulou, the piece examined current sea-level rise by emphasising the ecological pressure and strain resulting from climate change. It was performed in a flashmob style in various locations around the University campus, the Otago Museum green and the Wall Street shopping mall to raise awareness through dance as a different mode of aesthetic activism.

About the Performance the Real Research Theme

The Performance the Real Research Theme is a multidisciplinary project that investigates why representations and performances of the real are particularly compelling. At its core is the study of how performance and performativity, in its many cultural, aesthetic and social forms and discourses represents, critiques, enacts/re-enacts and constructs/reconstructs the real.

Read the Theme’s eJournal articles and visit its new website

Clockwise from top left: Dr Jennifer Cattermole, Sofia Kalogeropoulou, Hilary Halba and Professor Hazel Tucker.