Deep and Dark Play in the Alps: Daring Acts and Their Retelling

  • Jonathan Pitches


In accounts of the many cultural representations of mountains, the disciplines of theatre and performance are almost always left off the list. One overt example of shared terminology is the phenomenon of ‘deep’ or ‘dark play’. This chapter will examine these misunderstandings, prioritizing a reading of anthropologist Clifford Geertz’s influential essay ‘Deep Play: Notes on the Balinese Cockfight’ (Daedalus 10:1–37, 1972) and focusing on aspects of emotional intensity, of constructions of masculinity and of theatrical liveness. Once brought together with Richard Schechner’s notion of performative retelling, this section will be followed by a critical analysis of three cases of ‘moving mountain’ from the Alps—Mont Blanc, the Eiger, the Matterhorn—and a different technology: dioramas, telescopes and headcams.


Dark play Performative dynamics of mountains Theatre 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jonathan Pitches
    • 1
  1. 1.University of LeedsLeedsUK

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