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The record of the lonely house : sharing the embodied song

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Title: The record of the lonely house : sharing the embodied song
Author: Leger, Claire Elizabeth
Degree Master of Fine Arts - MFA
Program Interdisciplinary Studies
Copyright Date: 2012
Publicly Available in cIRcle 2012-08-16
Abstract: Expanding upon initial explorations in the interdisciplinary medium of choral theatre as practiced by Halifax’s Camerata Xara Young Women’s Choir, this dissertation details the process and production of my thesis performance, The Record of the Lonely House. The paper examines the current practice of choral theatre and the potential for choral music to further hybridize with theatrical performance, particularly via devised theatre practice. Specifically, the work is situated within the history of feminist collective performance created for and among communities of women, as well as within the practicing history of devised performance in Canada. Throughout, there is an emphasis on ways of knowing via individual and collective embodied experience, and the archival abilities of the body and voice to act as wells of material to draw from in the process of performance creation. The influence of place on art-making is central to the research, in particular concerning my own childhood in Lower Economy, Nova Scotia, and examines how the impression of landscape can evoke narrative. Inspired by the conflict between recorded history and lived memory, the source materials for the performance including pieces of choral music, found text, archival records, object work, and physical action, are analyzed in depth. The discussion includes a detailed account of the rehearsal process and the experience of site-specific performance both in an historic Halifax house and at the Mackie Lake House in Coldstream, British Columbia. Drawing on feedback from colleagues as well as personal testimonials from the performers, I examine the methodology of a devised choral theatre practice, as well as the potential of choral theatre for identity-shaping and community building. In conclusion, the paper reflects on the process both personally and within the scope of the art form, and offers further provocations for deepening and expanding the practice of choral theatre in terms of content and methodology.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2429/42947
Scholarly Level: Graduate

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