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Assessment Criteria/Titles

The following assessment criteria apply alongside the generic ones for Theatre and Performance Studies:

Specific Live Art and Performance assessment criteria

  • Demonstrate an ability to identify and execute appropriate practical skills, techniques and performance vocabularies needed to undertake laboratory-style investigations into the module topics, and to devise under supervision a piece of creative practice for presentation to an audience.
  • Show evidence of a critical engagement with key concepts and creative processes and an ability to take the initiative in exploring the interrelationship between the two.
  • Display an ability to research, document and evaluate creative processes in a way that illuminates your practice and informs your critical response to the performances that form the basis of seminar sessions and essays.

Using the studios and edit suite

The module takes place in the Department’s G53 studio at Millburn House. You should wear appropriate clothing and clean non-marking trainers to all practical sessions. Please follow closely the rules for the use of the studios and edit suite posted around these areas. Breaches of these Guidelines may affect your assessment. Let your tutor know if there are any physical problems hindering your practical work.

Workshops by artists

The module strives where possible to incorporate workshops with professional artists or companies in the practical fields covered by the module. These workshops may involve work in the evening or outside of normal class times and may be accompanied by performances or presentations by artists. The time and date of workshops will be confirmed to you at the beginning of each term. Make sure that you take note of the dates and times of any additional workshops as attendance is compulsory.

 

Live Art and Performance, Autumn Term 2013-14 Essay Titles:

Choose one of the following questions and write an essay of 3,000 words to be submitted on Monday 13th January 2014

1. Analyse how and to what ends certain artists or solo performers negotiate borders between ‘art’ and ‘life’. You should refer to at least one such artist or performer in some detail or compare the work of two.

2. With reference to the work of Tehching Hsieh, analyse the way he raises contentious questions around the function of time. How valid are his implied concerns and how well do his Lifeworks serve to present these questions?

3. What significance might be attributed to the act of bleeding live in the performances of Franko B?

4. “What I am, in this text (now) at least, is no more (and no less) than the meeting point of the language that flows into and out of me – a switching station, a filtering and thieving machine, a space in which collisions take place” (Certain Fragments, pp.101-2).

Is Tim Etchells being disingenuous when he appears to deny any semblance of authorship or a ‘writing persona’?

5. A asks a question, B offers an answer, C witnesses the exchange. What does an experience of Quizoola have to teach us about the nature of performance? Discuss from the respective points of view of the experience of performing in the piece and the experience of witnessing its performance as a spectator.

6. Many of the artworks in the Mead Gallery’s The World Turned Upside Down exhibition are dependent on a form of visual gag: cheap thrill or profound philosophical statement? Discuss with reference to at least four of the artworks on display.

7. The Wooster Group has continued into the 21st century in its endeavour essentially to deconstruct classic playtexts by recontextualising them. In what ways does the company’s work represent a critical response to the contemporary world and to theatre?

8. In embracing the term ‘theatre’ (Tanztheater) how did Pina Bausch’s practice seek to extend the boundaries of dance?

9. In what ways does the solo work of Adrian Howells – which frequently takes place as a one on one encounter – reposition the conventional role of the spectator?

Live Art and Performance exam brief, Spring Term 2013-14: to follow

The performance exam will take place on Wednesday of Week 10 (12th March 2014) in scheduled class time (10am-1pm). It represents 50% of the assessment.

Preparation towards the performances commences in Week 4, which means there are five 3-hour Wednesday sessions in which to develop the work before performances take place. However, you should expect to maintain at least a dialogue with your working group about the work in between times and you should ensure you have prepared in advance for each session, so that you have a clear idea of what you are doing each week from the start. Each session should culminate in a short meeting with your group to decide what you need to think about and prepare for the following week’s session. It will be particularly important to plan for the time between Weeks 5 and 7 because Reading Week means there will be a fortnight in between those sessions. G53 Studio has been reserved for LAP students the weekend before the Wednesday performances in Week 10, so any rehearsal, set building, tech preparation should occur then. You owe it to your group to be available for such work.

Performance premise

The brief for groups is deliberately open so as to give you maximum freedom to develop your own ideas after nearly a term and a half of being subject to all kinds of theoretical and practical stimuli. The work will base itself on the principal perspectives covered during the course of the module as follows:

  • differing explorations of time, taking into account such factors as durational time, repetition, chance, failure and real time events.
  • the uses and dynamics of space, including questions around site-specificity, situation and context, public and private space, and displacement.
  • the utilisation of bodies as sites of experimentation and/or expression.
  • the re-evaluation and implementation of text in contemporary practices.
  • the changing role of spectatorship in contemporary performance.
  • the role of participation in art and performance

Groups are asked to develop a modest piece of performance (although it can also take the form of an installation or an event) lasting no more than twenty minutes (unless there are valid reasons to have some other kind of arrangement eg. if it’s a durational piece). In keeping with the experimental premise of live art practice, the pieces should attempt to explore aspects of the basic components of performance listed above.

To indicate one possible way of proceeding: you might begin by selecting a certain kind of space as the site of your exploration. Second, you may consider how the space you have chosen might be defined by you or composed. In other words, what kind of intervention, negotiation, actions or marking of it does the space propose? Third, where is your audience positioned in relation to what you do in space? Who is your audience? What role does it have? Are you seeking a participatory relationship with it? Is it, in fact, the audience that is instrumental in composing your chosen space? Is it an invited audience? Is it made up of one person or the entire University community? Or is it an incidental audience, passing by or not even aware that it is an audience. Finally, think about how your piece might develop structurally: where does it begin? How does it develop? Where does it wind up?

Developmental week-by-week schedule

Week 4

Initial brainstorming of performance ideas in pairs/groups, taking into account work discussed during the course of the module. Devise plan for areas to research during the coming week. Assign tasks. Decide what you intend to cover in the session the following week. Make personal notes about process and progress.

Week 5

Begin exploring and developing practical ideas. Discuss ideas with tutor. Planning meeting to discuss Reading Week tasks and content of Week 7 session. Make personal notes about process and progress.

Week 7

Develop practical ideas with the aim of having a rough idea of the nature of the performance by the end of the session. Consider developing a performance score (an outline of what happens when and how during the performance). Discuss progress with tutor. Planning meeting to assign tasks for the week and discuss content of Week 8 session, in particular tech needs (which must be decided by the following week). Make personal notes about process and progress.

Week 8

Meeting of all groups with Ian O’Donoghue to establish technical requirements. Develop performances. Discuss progress with tutor. Planning meeting to assign tasks and discuss content of Week 9 session. Make personal notes about process and progress.

Week 9

Performances to be finalised, including all technical aspects. Discuss with tutor. Weekend (8/9th March) to be kept free for rehearsal and set building (to be arranged nearer the time and in conjunction with Ian O’D). Make personal notes about process and progress.

Critical review

The final assignment for the LAP module is to produce a critical review and documentation of the performance that you devise. This should be 3,000 words or equivalent, meaning it can include material and be presented in ways diverging from the standard 3,000 word essay/critique. It should analyse the creative processes leading to your performance. Rather than being a descriptive account, the critical review should display an understanding of the creative working process you have gone through and the practical decisions made. The submitted piece should analyse and assess the aims, objectives and outcomes of these processes and these should be evaluated in relation to appropriate theoretical issues underpinning the work. Where appropriate, you may wish to consider how the practical project you have produced might be further developed. You may submit work in a variety of forms which could include: research information, interviews, photographic evidence, visual material and any other documents that have been central to your creative process. In all cases you should attempt to provide an analytical account of practical work and its critical context. To facilitate the writing of your review you are strongly advised to make notes/maintain a log relating to the working process as it runs its course.

Critical reviews are due on Monday 28th April 2013 (Week 2, Summer Term). Marks and feedback for the performance exam and critical review are returned at the same time.

Generic assessment criteria for practice within Theatre/Performance Studies

  • Practice is assessed in an evaluation of processes and projects. The underlying principle, as with all assessment of theatre practice within the school, is that you are assessed on the demonstration of your understanding through practice. Key criteria of assessment are:
  • Good practice. Your response to the basic principles and demands of project-based, group work: attendance, punctuality, commitment and willingness to share responsibility with other members of the group.
  • The initiation, negotiation and realisation of ideas in a collaborative group process. In this context there may also be an assessment of the execution of specific responsibilities allocated by the tutor or agreed between the tutor and the group.
  • Your demonstration, through your practice, of an understanding of the specific concepts, issues and/or practices towards which the module directs and focuses your attention.

The above assessment criteria apply alongside:

Specific Live Art and Performance assessment criteria

  • Demonstrate an ability to identify and execute appropriate practical skills, techniques and performance vocabularies needed to undertake laboratory-style investigations into the module topics, and to devise under supervision a piece of creative practice for presentation to an audience.
  • Show evidence of a critical engagement with key concepts and creative processes and an ability to take the initiative in exploring the interrelationship between the two.
  • Display an ability to research, document and evaluate creative processes in a way that illuminates your practice and informs your critical response to the performances that form the basis of seminar sessions and essays.