The Efficacy of Symbolic Action Investigating the Creation and Effect of Symbolic Action on Performers and Audiences in the Performance, The Passion of Lady Vendredi

Grieve, Jonathan (2017) The Efficacy of Symbolic Action Investigating the Creation and Effect of Symbolic Action on Performers and Audiences in the Performance, The Passion of Lady Vendredi. Master of Arts by Research (MARes) thesis, University of Kent,. (Full text available)

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Abstract

ABSTRACT This thesis is based on directing the performance The Passion of Lady Vendredi produced by MAS productions at Soho Theatre in 2016. The style of The Passion is an immersive live music gig and performance art ritual that draws strongly from Haitian vodou dance. The performance centres on work with my collaborator Nwando Ebizie as cult music icon Lady Vendredi and featured a live band playing original compositions set to traditional Haitian rhythms. The focus of my Practice as Research is the creation of Symbolic Action and its application and efficacy in the research environment and in performance. The working definition for Symbolic Action is an action that causes a change in the participants. It is a coded action that contains the information necessary for a transaction or an exchange between the participants to create an intimate, spontaneous and self-aware experience. The artistic research on The Passion followed two simultaneous paths: the first is a vertical path inspired by Jerzy Grotowski and explored how a Symbolic Action or a ritual sequence has a tangible internal impact on the performer. The second, a horizontal path, is based on the methodology of Guillermo Gómez-Peña to create contemporary gods and demons. Transactional Analysis (TA), a system of social psychiatry founded by Eric Berne, formed the theoretical framework for Symbolic Action. TA views the transaction as the most basic unit of social intercourse and is particularly useful when working in the theatrical form of immersive theatre where the creation of meaningful interactions between the performers and the audience is crucial. The efficacy of a Symbolic Action is measured by whether it has caused a change in the energy and consciousness of the participant: this I have called 'Being a Part of Things'. The other measure of efficacy is whether the participant has achieved a level of autonomy defined as awareness, spontaneity and intimacy.

Item Type: Thesis (Master of Arts by Research (MARes))
Uncontrolled keywords: Theatre, Immersive Theatre, Jerzy Grotowski, Guillermo Gomez-Pena, Haitian Vodou Dance, Eric Berne, Transactional Analysis
Subjects: N Fine Arts > NX Arts in general
Divisions: Faculties > Humanities > School of Arts
Faculties > Humanities > School of Arts > Drama and Theatre
Depositing User: Users 1 not found.
Date Deposited: 09 May 2017 15:00 UTC
Last Modified: 16 May 2017 09:50 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/61665 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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