Performance in the Pandemic

Sporton, G. 2022. Performance in the Pandemic. Scene. 10 (1&2).

TitlePerformance in the Pandemic
TypeEdited issue
AuthorsSporton, G.
Abstract

The in-person assumptions of social experience, of performances and performers of all sorts, was changed by the pandemic. From being high on the list of activities to shut down at the start to being amongst the last sanctioned to resume, the traditions of performance derived from centuries of practice took a beating. Accompanying this were alternatives to going dark. There were already substitutes for in-person theatrical experiences in films, games and images. New outlets included online presentations, revisiting recent (and older) recordings, TikTok challenges, internet performances, socially distanced work, the use of PPE in costume and character, shows on Zoom, positing new ways to engage with performance. Technological enhancement reduced distances between people, solutions were found to latency issues, training continued online, the quality of home cameras and sound improved, and a redistribution of who and how to perform, for how long and to what audience with what skills and in what location emerged to reassert the sense of performance and reset the context. The resulting collection in this volume is an account of the variety of ways the pandemic affected the concept of performance. Time will tell whether the strategies and devices resorted to and collected here will sweep away centuries of traditional performance, whether they will find themselves incorporated into that tradition or if they will branch off on their own. But there is no doubting the imagination applied, not just in these examples but in many more worthy of collection. The instinct to make and perform was not snuffed out by the pandemic and its lockdowns, that the acts of creativity seen here are as essential to cultural continuity as finding a vaccine.

Keywordsperformance; pandemic; live art; zoom performance
JournalScene
Journal citation10 (1&2)
ISSN2044-3714
Year2022
PublisherIntellect
Web address (URL)https://intellectdiscover.com/content/journals/scene/10/1-2
Publication dates
Published06 Mar 2023
Supplemental file
License
All rights reserved

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