By P. Kuppers

Performances in hospices and on shorelines; cross-cultural fable making in Wales, New Zealand and the U.S.; communal poetry between psychological health and wellbeing process survivors: this e-book, now in paperback, offers a senior practitioner/critic's exploration of arts-based learn procedures sustained over greater than a decade - a refined engagement with incapacity tradition.

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Extra info for Disability Culture and Community Performance: Find a Strange and Twisted Shape

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We found loneliness and sharing, tea parties and the tragic mysteries of ancient legends. But why there? Why on those stairs, inaccessible to one of us, uncomfortable to all? Why in a damp and cold corridor? Audience members asked us this after the performance, and no ready answer came forward. I am certain that the temporary physical and emotional distress of the location allowed us to access material we might not otherwise have found. I, personally, excavated the lines between a theoretical commitment to disability politics, my indignation at inaccessible geographies, and the skin of my body, living the spaces that surround us, and I offered to share that quality of attention with our audience.

35 P. Kuppers, Disability Culture and Community Performance © Petra Kuppers 2011 36 Making a Home In this chapter, I illuminate core concerns of performance practice, articulated through collaborative endeavor: the use of space in the field of meaning, and the relationships between image, word, and lived experience. These concerns emerge in a container, a narrow space, which just about allowed us practice and writing: we three Chisenhale researchers started by reading material on public art and site-specificity,1 and then met in the research residency, in a corridor, to work on themes physically, without director or script.

But the main challenge of our game to transfigure the secondary space of the Chisenhale occurred during the performance sharing, in April 2001. A small group of around 20 people had come, squished up in that narrowness. Some people were outside for parts of the performance, looking in from the door, or moved in and out. The space, so long starkly geometrical, had now become filled with flesh, with breathing bodies. No viewing stations outside the event were possible. Corridor, external door and stairs were all performance places, and we three performers had to negotiate our way past people, work with them, and engage in one-on-one street theatre techniques.

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