Advertisement

There and Not There

Looking at Animals in Contemporary Theatre
  • Lourdes Orozco
Chapter
  • 155 Downloads

Abstract

In 2003, le Théâtre équestre Zingaro presented Loungta -Les Chevaux de Vent at the Festival d’Avignon, where Bar tab as and his troupe have been regulars for the last 10 years.1 Their ritualistic performances, defined by a unique theatrical vocabulary, present a human-animal encounter (mainly between horses and humans) which aims to erase the boundaries between species in performance. The purpose is, above all, to think about humans and horses performing together in harmony, blurring the boundaries between trainer and trainee, human and horse, human and animal. The performances often represent a strong aesthetic proposal in which space, light, colour and movement all work towards creating a mesmerizing spectacle, and feature virtuoso performance acts from humans and horses alike. Humans perform all sorts of circus-like acts while riding on the horses’ backs, and horses produce subtle and detailed performances unseen in other equestrian spectacles. While watching, however, one struggles to keep the focus on the human, continuously mesmerized by the finesse and virtuoso skills of the horses. It is easy to forget that what makes the performance possible is not only the result of training — that is, the human’s shaping of the animal — but also the willingness of the animal to be trained and his/her capacity to respond to that training.

Keywords

Live Animal Contemporary Theatre Fictional World Representational Strategy Rehearsal Process 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Aristotle. 1999. Poetics, trans. K. McLeish. London: Nick Hern.Google Scholar
  2. Barr, G. 2012. ‘Oliver! star Bullseye goes walkies around Newcastle’. In http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/local-news/oliver-star-bullseye-goes—walk-ies-1373467 (accessed 4 April 2014).
  3. Berger, J. 1980. ‘Why Look at Animals?’ In About Looking (pp. 1–26). London: Writers and Readers Publishing Cooperative.Google Scholar
  4. Berger, J. 1983. Ways of Seeing. London: BBC/Penguin Books.Google Scholar
  5. Berloni, B. 2008. Broadway Tails: Heartfelt Stories of Rescued Dogs Who Became Showbiz Superstars. Augusta: Lyons Press.Google Scholar
  6. Bleeker, M. 2011. Visuality in the Theatre. The Locus of Looking. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  7. Despret, V. 2010. ‘Ethology between Empathy, Standpoint and Perspectivism: the Case of the Arabian Babblers’, http://www.vincianedespret.be/2010/04/ethology-between-empathy-standpoint-and-perspectivism-the-case-of-the-ara-bian-babblers/ (accessed 4 April 2014).
  8. Dumas, C. 2011. Retrieved. Los Angeles: The Ice Plant.Google Scholar
  9. Fndlay, J. M. and I. D. Gilchrist. 2003. Active Vision: the Psychology of Looking and Seeing. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Hearne, V. 2007. Adam’s Task: Calling Animals by Name. New York: Skyhorse Publishing.Google Scholar
  11. Kirby M. 1995. ‘On Acting and Not-Acting’. In P. B. Zarrilli (ed.), Acting Reconsidered (pp. 43–58). London: New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  12. Peterson, M. 2007. ‘The Animal Apparatus: From a Theory of Animal Acting to an Ethics of Animal Acts’. The Drama Review 51.1 (T193): 33–48.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Read, A. 2009. Theatre, Intimacy & Engagement: The Last Human Venue. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Ridout, N. 2004. ‘Animal Labour in the Theatrical Economy’. Theatre Research International 29.1: 57–65.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Ridout, N. 2006. ‘Make-Believe: Socîetas Raffaello Sanzio Do Theatre’. In N. Ridout and J. Kelleher (eds), Contemporary Theatres in Europe. London and New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  16. Schechner, R. 2002. Performance Studies: An Introduction. London and New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  17. Schechner, R. 2003. Performance Theory. London and New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  18. Zola, E. 1878. Naturalism in the Theatre, trans. A. Bermel. In E. Bentley (ed.) (1968), Theory of the Modern Stage. London: Penguin.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Lourdes Orozco 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lourdes Orozco

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations