Your task is to undertake fieldwork on performance by attending a live event and writing an assignment that responds to the questions provided. Choose an event that clearly demonstrates the basic features of a cultural performance: it must contain: a span of time, a beginning and an end, an organised program of activity, a set of performers, an audience, a place and occasion of performance. Events you could choose from include a music concert, a nightclub, a procession or parade, a wedding, a sports event, a museum, an amusement park, a religious ceremony, a community festival, and so on. Conventional performances of drama, dance or musicals at the theatre are not suitable for this task. The event that you choose must occur during the course and you must attend the event in person. You cannot complete this assignment unless you are physically present at the event when it is happening. Make sure you discuss your choice with your tutor before the event. When you are at the event, your task is to undertake fieldwork that combines observation with participation. Record your experience by taking notes on what happens, talking with people there, taking photographs or video-recordings if appropriate, and gathering other information about the event. After the event, draw on your fieldwork, course materials and further research to write an assignment that responds to the following questions. Please note that the questions are there to guide you, but you are encouraged to write in essay style prose rather than in short dot point paragraphs. You do not have to address the questions in any particular order, but rather, allow the nature of your event and what you want to say about it to help you structure your writing. 1. What critical terms from the course lectures and readings apply to this performance and how? (Define at least three terms and use them throughout) 2. What type of performance is it? (Refer to categories of performance we have discussed in class) 3. Where and when is this performance occurring? 4. What marks the beginning and end of the performance? 5. Describe the space and/or setting of the event (architecture and design, public or private space, audience performer relations, publicity context, etc) 6. Who is performing and what are their roles? 7. List a sequence of actions and discuss what the performers’ bodies do (dance, rhythmic patterns, etc). 8. Are objects and/or technologies used? How? 9. Is music used? How? 10. Is it a scripted or non-scripted performance? Discuss 11. Who are the creators of the event? Who authors its content and in what way? For example, is it collective or singular, improvised or highly prearranged? 12. Is it religious or secular in nature? Discuss 13. Does the performance entail a change of consciousness for the performer or the spectator? How is this induced? Describe aesthetic, sensory or physiological effects. 14. What is the function of the performance in a community or culture? Did everything happen according to plan? Did anything unexpected happen? You may answer in short answer form or essay form. Depending on what type of performance you choose, some answers will require more depth than others. As a guide allow 100-150 words for most categories (or an average that will equal 2000 words overall). You may include documentary photographs, diagrams, footage or textual appendices of the performance to support your analysis.
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