Vantage Points: Pedagogy on Body-Based Performance

  • Peta TaitEmail author


Performance Studies presents performing bodies and visuality as culturally meaningful and philosophically significant. In addition to the epistemologies of the field, embodied forms of knowledge enlarge social understanding. The author offered two subjects on body-based arts to the MAIPR students in 2010, and sought to encourage them to think about the social and aesthetic significance of bodies and to draw on ideas of body phenomenology. The interpretation of bodies in performance, however, is preceded by questions about the viewer’s position. These subjects asked: Is the interpretation of the body coming from the perspective of a performer or a spectator (or a student scholar)? How does bodily experience of nationality, gender, race and sexuality impact on this viewing process? This discussion explores how pedagogy about viewing performance implicates cultural and personal vantage points that are also phenomenologically embodied. Performance Studies proposes that these processes can be applicable to all body to body engagement. This analysis of pedagogical approaches to the bodily reception of body-based performance utilizes examples of specific performances covered in the MAIPR subjects. These provided vantage points from which to grapple with the performative ambiguity of meaning that slips and slides across bodies.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.La Trobe UniversityMelbourneAustralia

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