Date of Award

5-2020

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Open Access

1

Abstract

This thesis aims to understand and glorify the transformative characteristics of theatrical transgressions and their lasting effects on performers and audiences in dance performance. In a history of queer transgression, artists have explored the concept of naughtiness in varied ways and through forms of embodied research, have attempted to activate unique landscapes for their own performative, excavational discoveries. By shifting modes of temperament within the stage arena, myself and others before me have attempted to achieve knee-jerk effects in live theater and concert dance in order to gain concretized levels of performative agency and authorship. Within this artistic genealogy, I pose the question: How can performances of conceptual muchness, defined as transgressing sensory (affective) and social norms, offer agency to a performer? This points to the possibility for creating utopias and dystopias in performance, where perfect worlds and destruction-based environments are formulated through surrealist structures and etherealized dreamscapes. These manifestations in my creative work are achieved through action-based doings and constitute an overt rejection of a white, patriarchal, hegemonic, cultural sphere that thrives on normativity. This project proposes that a performer can achieve agency through conceptual muchness: transgressive acts in performance that disrupt hegemonic norms of propriety by providing experiences of sensory overload and queer, overt resistance to assimilation.

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