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Charles Vorontsov
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Performance Studies: An Introduction by Richard Schechner - A Review and PDF Download Link


Performance Studies: An Introduction by Richard Schechner




If you are interested in learning more about the fascinating and interdisciplinary field of performance studies, you might want to check out Performance Studies: An Introduction by Richard Schechner. This book is a pioneering textbook that provides a lively and accessible overview of the full range of performance, with primary extracts, student activities, key biographies, and over 200 images of global performance.




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Richard Schechner is a scholar, theatre director, editor, and playwright who is widely regarded as one of the founders and leaders of performance studies. He is University Professor and Professor of Performance Studies at the Tisch School of the Arts, New York University. He is also editor of TDR: The Journal of Performance Studies and author of several books on performance theory and practice.


In this book, Schechner introduces the key concepts, methods, and issues that define performance studies as a field. He also explores the various forms and functions of performance in different contexts and cultures. The book is divided into eight chapters, each covering a major topic in performance studies. Let's take a look at what each chapter covers.


What is performance studies?




In this chapter, Schechner explains what performance studies is and how it emerged as a distinct field of study. He traces the historical roots and influences of performance studies from anthropology, sociology, psychology, philosophy, theatre, art, literature, media, and cultural studies. He also outlines the main goals and objectives of performance studies as a field that seeks to understand, critique, create, and transform performances.


Schechner defines performance studies as "an interdisciplinary field that studies performances in culture". He argues that performance studies is not limited to studying artistic or theatrical performances, but also includes studying everyday life performances such as rituals, ceremonies, games, sports, social interactions, identity expressions, political actions, media representations, etc. He also emphasizes that performance studies is not only descriptive or analytical, but also creative or generative. He suggests that performance studies can be used as a tool for making new performances or changing existing ones.


Schechner also introduces some key terms and concepts that are central to performance studies such as behavior, events, scripts, scenarios, frames, aesthetics, efficacy, entertainment, liminality, communitas, restored behavior, twice-behaved behavior, dark play, make-believe, etc. He explains how these terms and concepts help us to understand and interpret performances in different ways.


What is performance?




In this chapter, Schechner explores the different types and characteristics of performance. He argues that performance is not a fixed or stable category, but a dynamic and contextual one. He suggests that performance can be understood as a continuum or spectrum that ranges from ritualized or scripted performances to playful or spontaneous performances. He also proposes that performance can be classified into four main types: the performing arts and popular entertainments, rituals, play and games, and the performances of everyday life.


Schechner discusses the similarities and differences between these four types of performance in terms of their functions, forms, audiences, participants, spaces, times, modes, styles, genres, etc. He also provides examples of each type of performance from different cultures and periods. He shows how these types of performance can overlap, intersect, or influence each other. He also examines how these types of performance can change or adapt to different situations or challenges.


Ritual




In this chapter, Schechner explores the role and function of ritual in performance studies. He defines ritual as "a type of performance that is efficacious: it does something". He argues that ritual is not only a religious or sacred phenomenon, but also a social or secular one. He suggests that ritual can be used to mark transitions, celebrate occasions, express values, affirm identities, communicate messages, create bonds, resolve conflicts, heal wounds, etc.


Schechner discusses the various elements and aspects of ritual such as symbols, actions, words, objects, participants, roles, rules, spaces, times, etc. He also analyzes the different modes and styles of ritual such as formal or informal, solemn or festive, traditional or innovative, etc. He also provides examples of rituals from different cultures and periods such as rites of passage, rites of intensification, rites of affliction, rites of exchange, rites of inversion, rites of renewal, etc. He shows how rituals can vary or evolve according to different contexts or needs.


Play




In this chapter, Schechner explores the concept and practice of play in performance studies. He defines play as "a type of performance that is entertaining: it gives pleasure". He argues that play is not only a childish or frivolous activity, but also a creative and meaningful one. He suggests that play can be used to explore possibilities, express emotions, challenge norms, test limits, learn skills, etc.


Schechner discusses the various elements and aspects of play such as rules, strategies, goals, outcomes, challenges, risks, rewards, etc. He also analyzes the different modes and styles of play such as competitive or cooperative, serious or humorous, realistic or fantastical, etc. He also provides examples of play from different cultures and periods such as games, sports, jokes, pranks, puzzles, toys, etc. He shows how play can vary or evolve according to different contexts or needs.


Performativity




In this chapter, Schechner explores the theory and application of performativity in performance studies. He defines performativity as "the capacity of speech acts or any other signifying acts to perform actions rather than simply report them". He argues that performativity is not only a linguistic or semiotic phenomenon, but also a social or cultural one. He suggests that performativity can be used to construct realities, identities, relations, norms, values, etc.


Schechner discusses the various elements and aspects of performativity such as utterances, contexts, conventions, intentions, effects, etc. He also analyzes the different modes and styles of performativity such as declarative or constative, explicit or implicit, direct or indirect, etc. He also provides examples of performativity from different cultures and periods such as vows, promises, orders, blessings, curses, insults, compliments, apologies, etc. He shows how performativity can vary or evolve according to different contexts or needs.


Performing




In this chapter, Schechner explores the various aspects and elements of performing in performance studies. He defines performing as "the activity of making performances". He argues that performing is not only a artistic or theatrical activity but also a personal or social one. He suggests that performing can be used to communicate messages express emotions create meanings etc.


Schechner discusses the various aspects and elements of performing such as actors characters roles scripts scenarios actions gestures voices costumes props sets lights audiences etc. He also analyzes the different modes and styles of performing such as naturalistic or non-naturalistic realistic or stylized representational or presentational etc. He also provides examples of performing from different cultures and periods such as theatre dance music film digital media etc. He shows how performing can vary or evolve according to different contexts or needs.


Performance processes




In this chapter, Schechner explores the stages and methods of creating and analyzing performances. He argues that performance processes are not linear or fixed, but circular and flexible. He suggests that performance processes can be understood as a series of feedback loops that involve the following phases: training, workshops, rehearsals, warm-ups, performances, cool-downs, and aftermaths.


Schechner discusses the various elements and aspects of each phase such as objectives, activities, techniques, tools, challenges, outcomes, etc. He also analyzes the different modes and styles of each phase such as experimental or conventional, collaborative or individualistic, improvisational or scripted, etc. He also provides examples of each phase from different cultures and periods such as Stanislavski's system, Brecht's epic theatre, Grotowski's poor theatre, Boal's theatre of the oppressed, Schechner's environmental theatre, etc. He shows how each phase can vary or evolve according to different contexts or needs.


Global and intercultural performance




In this chapter, Schechner explores the diverse and dynamic forms and contexts of performance across cultures and regions. He argues that global and intercultural performance is not a new or homogeneous phenomenon, but a complex and heterogeneous one. He suggests that global and intercultural performance can be understood as a process of exchange, adaptation, hybridization, appropriation, resistance, dialogue, etc.


Schechner discusses the various elements and aspects of global and intercultural performance such as sources, influences, motivations, purposes, effects, challenges, opportunities, etc. He also analyzes the different modes and styles of global and intercultural performance such as fusion or juxtaposition, translation or adaptation, homage or critique, collaboration or confrontation, etc. He also provides examples of global and intercultural performance from different genres and media such as theatre, dance, music, film, digital media, etc. He shows how global and intercultural performance can vary or evolve according to different contexts or needs.


Examples of global and intercultural performance




In this section, Schechner presents some examples of global and intercultural performance from different genres and media. He explains how these examples illustrate the various elements and aspects of global and intercultural performance that he discussed in the previous section.


Theatre




An example of global and intercultural theatre performance is The Mahabharata, a nine-hour stage adaptation of the ancient Indian epic by French director Peter Brook. The production was created in collaboration with an international cast and crew from 16 countries. The production used a minimalist set and a multilingual script that incorporated elements from various theatrical traditions such as Japanese Noh, Indonesian shadow puppetry, Indian Kathakali, etc. The production aimed to create a universal and transcultural experience that explored themes such as war, duty, love, fate, etc.


Dance




An example of global and intercultural dance performance is Riverdance, a theatrical show that features Irish step dancing along with other forms of dance from around the world. The show was created by Irish choreographer Michael Flatley and producer Moya Doherty. The show used a combination of live music, lighting, costumes, and projections to create a spectacular spectacle that celebrated the diversity and richness of dance cultures. The show also incorporated elements from various dance traditions such as American tap, Russian ballet, Spanish flamenco, etc. The show aimed to create a joyful and energetic expression that showcased the skill and passion of dancers.


Music




An example of global and intercultural music performance is Buena Vista Social Club, a musical project that brought together Cuban musicians with American guitarist Ry Cooder. The project was initiated by Cuban bandleader Juan de Marcos González and British producer Nick Gold. The project used a recording studio in Havana to produce an album that featured traditional Cuban music styles such as son, bolero, guajira, etc. The project also resulted in a documentary film and a series of concerts that introduced Cuban music to a global audience. The project aimed to create a nostalgic and authentic tribute that preserved and revived the musical heritage of Cuba.


Film




An example of global and intercultural film performance is Slumdog Millionaire, a British-Indian film that tells the story of a young man from the slums of Mumbai who wins a quiz show. The film was directed by British filmmaker Danny Boyle and co-directed by Indian filmmaker Loveleen Tandan. The film used a mix of English and Hindi languages and a nonlinear narrative structure that incorporated flashbacks and flash-forwards. The film also featured elements from various film traditions such as Bollywood musicals, Hollywood thrillers, French art films, etc. The film aimed to create a realistic and romantic portrayal that explored themes such as poverty, violence, love, destiny, etc.


Digital media




An example of global and intercultural digital media performance is Second Life, a online virtual world that allows users to create and interact with avatars and environments. The platform was created by American company Linden Lab and launched in 2003. The platform uses a 3D graphics engine and a scripting language to enable users to customize and animate their avatars and environments. The platform also features elements from various digital media traditions such as video games, social networks, virtual reality, etc. The platform aims to create a immersive and creative space that enables users to express themselves, socialize, learn, work, play, etc.


Conclusion




In conclusion, Performance Studies: An Introduction by Richard Schechner is a comprehensive and engaging book that introduces the field of performance studies to students and scholars alike. The book covers the key concepts, methods, and issues that define performance studies as a field. It also explores the various forms and functions of performance in different contexts and cultures. The book is richly illustrated with examples and images of global performance from different genres and media. The book is also accompanied by an all-new companion website that provides additional resources for instructors and students.


If you are looking for a book that will help you understand, critique, create, and transform performances, this book is for you. Whether you are interested in theatre, dance, music, film, digital media, or any other type of performance, this book will provide you with the tools and insights you need to appreciate and participate in the diverse and dynamic world of performance.


FAQs




Here are some frequently asked questions about the book and the field of performance studies.


  • Q: How can I access the companion website for the book?



  • A: You can access the companion website for the book at https://www.routledge.com/Performance-Studies-An-Introduction-3rd-Edition/Schechner-Brady/p/book/9780415502313. You will need to register with your email address and create a password to access the website.



  • Q: What are some other books or journals that I can read to learn more about performance studies?



A: Some other books or journals that you can read to learn more about performance studies are:


  • The Performance Studies Reader edited by Henry Bial and Sara Brady



  • Critical Terms for Performance Studies edited by Tracy C. Davis and Thomas Postlewait



  • The Routledge Companion to Performance Studies edited by Rebecca Schneider and Erika Fischer-Lichte



  • TDR: The Journal of Performance Studies edited by Richard Schechner



  • Performance Research edited by Ric Allsopp and Richard Gough



  • Q: How can I apply performance studies to my own field or discipline?



  • A: You can apply performance studies to your own field or discipline by using the concepts, methods, and issues that performance studies offers to analyze, critique, create, or transform performances in your field or discipline. For example, if you are interested in history, you can use performance studies to examine how historical events or figures are performed or represented in different media or contexts. If you are interested in education, you can use performance studies to design or evaluate pedagogical performances or activities that enhance learning outcomes.



  • Q: How can I get involved in performance studies as a practitioner or researcher?



conferences, workshops, festivals, or exhibitions that showcase or discuss performance studies. You can also network or collaborate with other performance studies practitioners or researchers from different fields or disciplines. You can also publish or present your performance studies work in academic or public venues.


  • Q: What are some of the current trends or challenges in performance studies?



A: Some of the current trends or challenges in performance studies are:


  • The impact of digital technologies and media on performance and performance studies



  • The ethical and political implications of performance and performance studies in a globalized and diverse world



  • The interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary nature and scope of performance and performance studies



  • The creative and critical potential and responsibility of performance and performance studies in addressing social and environmental issues



I hope you enjoyed reading this article and learned something new about performance studies an introduction richard schechner pdf download. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact me. Thank you for your time and attention. 71b2f0854b


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