Faculty: Priya Narayanan

Ritual, Body & Space in Performance Arts

Culture informs rituals which in turn demand a performative manifestation to connect individuals to their own inner self or to the larger community. According to Richard Schechner, ‘Ritual is part of the warp and woof of every kind of performance, sacred and secular, aesthetic and social’. What starts off as a ritual thus has the possibility of becoming a performative art-form.
Further, with performance requiring a ‘performer’, performance arts are inextricably connected to the ‘body’. How does this ‘body’ inform performance? How does a performance mold the body and the space around it? When does the performer’s body remain private and when does it become public? How do rituals inform the connection between a performer and his/her audience? Informed by Richard Schechner’s performance theory, Catherine Bell’s interpretation of ritual theory and the broader framework of kinesthetics in spacemaking, this research examines the spatiality of gestures, movements and pauses embedded in different typologies
and scales of performances.