Faculty: Priya Narayanan

Performance and Spaces

According to Richard Schechner, ‘Performance isn’t “in” anything, but “between,”’ with this
‘between’ being manifested in the action, interaction and relationship of two or more
humans and of humans and space. 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? How does
space impact the connection between a performer and his/her audience? Informed by
Richard Schechner’s performance theory, James Barret’s vocabulary of performance art,
Kapila Vatsyana’s investigation of space in ritual and folk performances 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 in the
Indian context. These could vary from the performance of rituals and ritual dances to that of
folk dances, classical and modern dances, music concerts, street plays, storytelling, drama
and more contemporary interpretations such as performative visual arts.