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Underground club spaces and interactive performance

O'Grady, Kathleen Alice (2009) Underground club spaces and interactive performance. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

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Abstract

This thesis examines how the underground club space might be read and developed as a new environment for performances that are democratic, participatory and interactive. It positions the club space as a playful arena and asks how these performative spaces of play are created, navigated and utilised by those who inhabit them. The study looks at the club space and the activities housed therein using performance theory as a lens and as a theoretical tool for understanding the nature of the club context and the possibilities it affords for performative exchange. The thesis identifies and explores the continuum of performance practice that occurs within club spaces and analyses a number of bespoke performances that have been developed specifically for this study in order to illuminate particular theoretical models of interaction. The central premise of this research is that underground clubbing practices themselves can be understood as participatory performance. The ethos of participation prevalent within this culture results in notions of community, engagement and reciprocity being widely circulated and cited as a significant element of the underground experience by clubbers immersed in the scene. This research takes into account the belief in the provisionality of the clubbing space as a potential site of performance where people may try out alternatives, imagine (im)possibilities and play. Furthermore it explores how performance practice carried out in the underground may help develop interactive structures that can be applied to other contexts. Building on existing scholarship in club culture, this study contributes to new knowledge in the field in that it draws parallels between the club space and spaces of play as a way of modelling potential platforms for performative exchange. In addition the study develops a set of models for analysing performance that occurs in unpredictable, fluid, social spaces.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Performance, Visual Arts and Communications (Leeds) > Performance and Cultural Industries (Leeds)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.516038
Depositing User: Ethos Import
Date Deposited: 02 Jul 2010 12:12
Last Modified: 07 Mar 2014 11:23
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/937

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