1. Describe in Detail (300 words). Study your notes from your performance noticing practice. Think of your notes as an informal collection of evidence from your experience of the performance. Select which pieces of evidence are most intriguing to you, which help offer a way into the deeper significance of this performance event. What sparks your curiosity? What makes you uncomfortable? What makes your skin crawl, makes you burst out laughing, or both? Use as much detail as possible to describe your evidence. Again, it may be helpful to imagine you’re recounting the performance event to an alien who just landed on Planet Earth. Consider details like shape, color, texture, spatial relations (close/far, inside/outside, high/low, touching/separate, etc.) speed, duration over time (long, short, repetitive), stillness, silence, volume (loud/soft), weight, facial expression, posture, gesture, movement dynamics (jerky, smooth, rhythmic, flowing, repetitive, etc.). Get poetic about it! You might use metaphor or simile, for example, to enhance the quality of your description.
2. Apply Performance Theory (300 words). Choose one (1) Performance Theory Concept and two (2) Performance Terms from the following lists, to apply to your Critical Analysis of Evidence.
PERFORMANCE THEORY CONCEPTS (choose only one)
1. restored behavior
2. is performance/as performance
3. doing, showing doing, explaining showing doing
PERFORMANCE TERMS (choose only two sets from the four listed)
SET 1. performer/audience
SET 2. stage/staging (can include the theater terms onstage, offstage, backstage, centerstage, etc.)
SET 3. costume, props, set
SET 4. script, role(s), character(s)
SET 5. movement, gesture, choreography, routine
You may consider the following questions to aid your analysis:
* Who performs and who is audience? Do the roles of performer/audience switch? If so, why?
* Is there a larger social script or roles that the performers and/or audience follow? What behaviors, actions, or words suggest this? How do performers and/or audience challenge the script or roles? How do they change it?
* How is the performance staged (use stage directions)? Who is on/off/back/center stage?
*Are there props or costumes? Is there a set?
*What kind of embodied behaviors are happening on, off, or between stage locations? What is the relationship between what happens backstage, offstage and onstage?
* What actions, behaviors, gestures, poses, movements are done by the performers and/or audience? Is there a predictable choreography of movements or actions? Who performs them? Does the movement behavior change over time or stay the same? Do the gestures take on different meanings in different contexts?
* How might you think of the museum (or other objects, technologies, social spaces, etc.) as a character in the performance? Does the performance conscript the museum into a specific role? How and for what purpose? What conventions of staging are evidence of this role?
For example, if your evidence is “posing for pictures” and your PT Concept is restored behavior, your Critical Analysis of Evidence should ask questions like: Do the restored behaviors of posing and picture-taking create specific roles for the people involved? What actions or expressive behaviors define these roles? How is posing for pictures in the context of this performance related to the idea of posing for pictures in everyday life? in other historical contexts? Why is the repetition of the act of posing or act of picture-taking important in the context of the performance? What do the repeated acts make you think about? What specific social meanings do you attribute to these actions or behaviors? Does the restored behavior have specific ethical consequences?
3. Ask a Critical Question. What is one larger social, political, historical, and/or ethical question that you think the documentary film Couple In The Cage is asking or posing for deeper reflection?