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Spatial Encounters: Spectatorship in Immersive Performances


Spatial Encounters: Spectatorship in Immersive Performances

Binette, Mélanie (2014) Spatial Encounters: Spectatorship in Immersive Performances. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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This research approaches spectatorship in immersive performances by combining models of spectatorial agency and the agency of space with a practice of post-performance conversations and correspondence with audiences. Immersive performances often place spectators at the heart of the event, framing embodied experiences and social interactions as material for aesthetic explorations. Debates in aesthetic theory have sometimes condemned the focus of such events on spectatorial participation, describing it as rather manipulative and disempowering. This thesis negotiates the theoretical discourse with an empirical approach to audiences, by exploring different perspectives through spectators’ accounts of their experience.
Immersive performances heighten the experience of space by creating aesthetic environments in which spectators encounter other forms of agency: those of the world(s) and those of the inanimate things surrounding spectators. This thesis investigates how immersive performances may both transform the way that spectators perceive space and trigger their critical and creative thinking about their environment. The four case studies examined in this research proposed spaces that created a flexible experience for spectators in which they could perform their difference. Two of the performances under study were produced in London, United Kingdom, where the notion of immersion in performance has recently pervaded the contemporary performance scene and theoretical discourse. The other two performances happened at Concordia University during the 2012 student strike and engaged with this emotionally gripping political context, exemplifying how immersive performances may introduce counter-narratives in institutional spaces that trigger political and critical thoughts.

Divisions:Concordia University > School of Graduate Studies > Individualized Program
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Binette, Mélanie
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Individualized Program
Date:15 April 2014
Thesis Supervisor(s):Sussman, Mark and Hammond, Cynthia and McCartney, Andra
Keywords:Immersive Theatre, Performance, Architecture, Urban Studies, Communication, Audience, Reception Studies, Spectator.
ID Code:978496
Deposited On:30 Jun 2014 15:20
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:47
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