I Want to Learn How to Think Beyond Academic Disciplines

Vol.3 2010.03.09 UCHINO Tadashi

The Body in Performance – through the Example of American Theatre from the 1960's onward

Has the body ever been problematized in American theatre? What did the "body," when we call American theatre in the 60's as the "Theatre of the Body," signify? And what did it try to achieve? Furthermore, how does American performance try to tackle the "Body" after the postmodernist turn that rapidly grew after the 60's, that is, in the "Phenomenal World" where media seems to have thoroughly entrenched itself? In this lecture, by posing the abovementioned questions, we will comparatively examine the theoretical developments of two closely related genres – American theatre and performance art after the 60's – utilizing audiovisual materials, in the hope of exploring the issue of the body in America's performative phenomena.

1) Introduction – Geneology in American Performances
2) The "Body" in the 1968 Model Theatre
***Videos: Living Theatre, Open Theatre, Performance Groups
3) "Theatre of Image" and the Body Turning into Image
***Videos: Robert Wilson and Richard Foreman
4) The "Body" in Feminist Performances – Postmodern Dances as an Auxiliary Line
***Videos:Trisha Brown, Steve Paxton, and Karen Finley
5) Media – The "Disappearance" and "Return" of the Body
***Videos: John Jesurun and The Builders Association
6) Wrap-Up and Q&A


UCHINO Tadashi
Professor at Culture Dynamics Course, Department of Interdisciplinary Cultural Studies, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences My area of specialty is stage art theory centering on contemporary theatre in the United States of America and Japan after 1960s. I am interested in historicizing the development of performance arts in post 1990s America with critical theory and body theory from the post-colonial period onward. Another interest of mine is situating Japanese contemporary theatre arts within the theoretical contexts of Europe and the United States. I am the author of From Melodrama to Performance: On 20th Century American Theatre (University of Tokyo Press) among others.
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  • Birringer, Johannes --- 1991: Theatre, Theory, Postmodernism. Bloomington: Indiana UP.
  • Champagne, Lenora --- 1990: Out from Under: Texts by Women Performance Artists. NY: TCG.
  • Finley, Karen --- 1988: The Constant State of Desire. TDR 32, 1 (T117), 139-151. 邦訳――「欲望の恒常的状態」、渡辺佐智江訳、「シアターアーツ」第7号、205-15。
  • "Karen Finely: A Constant State of Becoming - An Interview by Richard Schechner." TDR 32, 1 (T117), 152-8.
  • 1990: Shock Treatment. San Francisco: City Lights.
  • Fried, Ronald K. --- 1985: The Cinematic Theatre of John Jesurun. TDR 29,1 (T105), 57-72.
  • Fuchs, Elinor --- 1996: The Death of Character: Perspectives on Theater after Modernism. Bloomington: Indiana UP.
  • Otori, Hidenaga(鴻英良) --- 1998: 『二十世紀劇場』、朝日新聞社。
  • Kaye, Nick --- 2007: Multimedia: Video, Installation, Performance. London: Routledge.
  • Keith, Harvey --- 1988: Mondo New York. 4th & Broadway Films, color, 83 minutes.
  • Hart, Lynda --- 1992: Motherhood According to Finley: The Theory of Total Blame. TDR 36, 1 (T133), 124-34.
  • Jesurun, John --- 1986: Deep Sleep. In Word Plays 5, 223-304, NY: PAJ Publications.
  • 1987: "White Water." On New Ground: Contemporary Hispanic-American plays, M. E. Osborne, Ed. New York: Theatre Communications Group, 73-142.
  • 1993: "Breaking the Relentless Spool of Film Unrolling." Felix 1, 3: 65-9.
  • 2009: A Media Trilogy. California: NoPassport Press.
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  • Marranca, Bonnie --- 1977: "Introduction." In The Theatre of Images, edited by Bonnie Marranca, ix-xv. NY: PAJ Publications.
  • Martin, Carol (ed.) --- 1996: A Sourcebook of Feminist Theatre and Performance: On and Beyond the Stage. NY: Routledge.
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  • Schneider, Rebecca --- 1997: The Explicit Body in Performance. NY: Routledge.
  • Tochigi, Akira(とちぎあきら) --- 1997: 「複数性の亀裂――フェミニズム的身体の変貌に向けて」。「シアターアーツ」第7号、39-44。
  • Uchino, Tadashi(内野儀) --- 2001: 『メロドラマからパフォーマンスへ――20世紀アメリカ演劇論』(東京大学出版会)。
  • Wilmeth, Don B. and Miller, Tice L (eds.) --- 1996: Cambridge Guide to American Theatre. NY: Cambridge UP.
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