Monday, 8 April 2013


The performing Arts Department at Middlesex University presented a series of two symposia on the practice of collaboration in performance-making. These events brought together practitioners, scholars and PhD students concerned with questions around the impact of collaborative practices in contemporary performing-arts. 
The premise of this initiative was the observation that while collaboration in the arts has become a crucial component of the creative process, cultural and educational policy, it is only recently that an emphasis has been placed on problematising the influence of co-labour in the disciplines of the performing arts. The event was informed by the notion that performative art forms can be seen to have an inherent collaborative aspect but that the role and place of collaboration in contemporary performance was rarely addressed in the context of academic research.

The first symposium on collaboration in performance practice was held at Trent Park Middlesex on 4 May 2012 and explored a number of critical ideas around the relationships between collaborative practices and the notions of ‘memory’, ‘place’ and ‘time’ in performance-making.
(See tab Symposium I above).  

The second Symposium took place on Saturday, 18 May 2013 at Middlesex University, Hendon Campus, North London. This event addressed issues specific to the politics of collaboration. 
Questions of interest included:

The politics of working together: relationships between collaborators at work

•  Modes of performance-making: the ongoing search for alternative modes of work

•  Identity and performance: going beyond oneself in contemporary contexts

•  Theorising collaboration: matters of authorship in a networked age

•  Collaboration across disciplinary and cultural borders

The symposium featured a range of research papers and practice interventions, and includes performance installations by Angela Woodhouse and Henrietta Hale as well as Jane Bacon and Vida Midgelow. 

Gerard Bell and Karen Christopher presented their work So Below (Haranczak/Navarre Performance Projects) to conclude the event.

Simon Murray. "Lightness of touch: politics and embodiment in collaboration"
Rosemary Butcher and Susan Melrose. A dialogue. "Just in time: collaborative memory work and judgement in dance-making practices"

Emilyn Claid, Susan Melrose, Josephine Machon, Simon Murray, Pedro de Senna, Carole-Anne Upton

Jane Bacon, Jo Breslin, Julie Brixey-Williams, Camilla Brueton, Jane Carr, Noyale Colin, Jill Cowley, Campbell Edinborough, Steve Fossey, Sara Giddens, Mariella Greil, Simon Jones, Simon Kennedy, Beverley Hood, Ola Johansson, Mark James Hamilton, Tim Jeeves, Alexandra Kolb, Deirdre McLaughlin, Freddie Opoku-Addaie, Eugenie Pastor, Ailsa Richardson, David Roberts, Martina Ruhsam, Stefanie Sachsenmaier, Rajni Shah, Pedro De Senna, Theron Schmidt, Arabella Stanger, Stephanie Schober, Tuuli Tahko, Stuart Tait, Leigh Tredger, Caroline Younger