Light Being Performance


29. January 2020




Odin Teatret
Særkærparken 144
7500 Holstebro

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Scenography, from its earliest known origins, comes ‘from the Greek sceno-grafika, and is translated into common understanding as ‘the writing of stage space – l’ecriture scenique’ (Howard, 2002). Over the past 30 years there has been an explosion of research in the field of Scenography, and it has been argued that we are at a point where ‘…we are currently undergoing a significant ‘turn’ towards scenography, both as a critical framework and as an expansion of practice across a broad range of theatre and performance-related activities.’ (Aronson & Collins, 2015). This paper seeks to question if devising is limited to a collaboration amongst a ‘group of people’ (Oddey, 1996), and moves towards arguing for, and demonstrating how, the phenomena of light (and scenography) can be an active participant, an intra-active agent and a collaborator in the construction and generation of collective ensemble based devised performance practice. This paper seeks to contribute to this significant scenographic turn and expand the field by destabilising the central anthropocentric views and hierarchies that have historically been prevalent in the making, writing and training for performance practice. It will utilise examples and findings to date from my own practice-research and national and international collaborations; propose how scenography can be a role-player, a maker and a driver of narrative action in the ‘writing’ of performance and demonstrate why scenography matters and how scenography is mattering.

Linda (Lyn) Cunningham is a Ph.D. researcher at De Montfort University (UK). She has worked and trained and as a Performer; Devisor; Director; Collaborator; Technician; Designer; Operator; Scenographer, Film-maker and Lecturer for various companies and institutions both nationally and internationally. She utilises this hybridity in her performance practice-research company, Light Being Performance (2004) in which she began to explore the potential of light as a performer-collaborator in the construction and presentation of performance practice. Light Being Performance, is as part of the Scenography Being Laboratory (2016), which is interested in research and training around the collaboration, presence and performativity of human and non-human beings.

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