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research workshop

The impossibility of representation?
practice, performance and media

A workshop addressing issues of practice as research, the role of media and mediation, and cross-cultural dance and music performance analysis.

Keynote speakers: Professor Susan Melrose (Middlesex University), Dr Nicholas Casswell (AHRB Research Centre for Cross-cultural Music and Dance Performance), Dr Mark Hobart (SOAS, Media & Film Studies Programme), Dr Avanthi Meduri (Roehampton University, Dance Programmes), Dr Ana Sanchez-Colberg (Central School of Speech and Drama) Professor I Wayan Dibia (ISI, Denpasar)

Representing or mediating usually involves an unacknowledged process of transformation of what is represented. This raises interesting problems for the use of digital media for research and documentation. Drawing upon issues around performance as research, the workshop aims to reconsider how we imagine performance, media (and process of electronic recording or ‘mediatizing’), considered as practices.
Practice as research is variously defined and interpreted by academics and performers. Although the outcome of practice-based enquiry is performance, because it is ephemeral, it is usually recorded (whether as plain or interactive DVD, or on CD for music). By a process of reification, it is this which becomes the preserved record of the research (and, in the last analysis, the 'documentation' acceptable to funding bodies). This also forms the basis of dance/music performance analysis, much of which further objectifies performance through various accepted and supposedly rigorous methods (e.g. formalist structural analysis through use of notation). If, however, recording necessarily transforms performance then, by definition, academics or practitioners are studying not the original event, but an artifact of the process of representation.
Practice as research however opens possibilities of quite different and potentially radical ways of imagining performance. Keynote papers will rethink issues of what is involved in mediating (or ‘mediatizing’), how we are to understand performance conceptually and in relation to dance and music performance research and documentation, and so appropriate analytical modes of research in performance.


various keynote speakers | talks


Date and Time:

23 April 2005 at 9:00 am


Half Day



AHRB Research Centre for Crosscultural Music and Dance Performan
University of London

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Khalili Lecture Theatre

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