A shift towards digital and participatory performance practice post-pandemic
de Roza, Elizabeth
MetadataShow full item record
Mastrominico, B. and de Roza, E. (2022) ‘A shift towards digital and participatory performance practice post-pandemic’, Body, Space & Technology, 22(1).
This perspective analyses and reflects upon the experience of conceiving, curating and participating in Bodies:On:Live Magdalena:On:Live, the first online multi-platform Magdalena Festival, bringing together digitally competent artists with creative roots in the immateriality of the internet, in dialogue about current shifts in performance making with performers, writers, and directors declaring their uneasiness towards online adaptations of live work. As part of the global reaction to the standstill brought about by the Covid pandemic, we argue that shifts in practice for women in contemporary theatre associated with the Magdalena network – whether as an attempt for immediate artistic survival or a conscious experimental choice – were not exclusively determined by the available sharing of technical knowledge, or by the need to increase awareness of the digital medium in order to gain experience of different working modalities, but served a participatory and social purpose. These conditions were surfacing due to the digital space manifesting as a specific format of gathering through the Zoom windows and other platforms, which framed the encounters within a democratic performance arena, making the boundaries between participation and spectatorship porous. Therefore, the shift provoked by the festival not only pertains to the aesthetic sphere, but it is dynamically and organically geared towards the recognition of new working contexts arising from the unsettling experience of ‘disembodiment’ – as an ontological paradox of the original in-person Magdalena festival - and the embedded argument of the creative use of new technologies for a more sustainable and accessible future of performance making, both live and digital.