27 August 2012


Rosas & graindelavoix | CESENA from Olivia Rochette Gerard-Jan Claes on Vimeo.

As often happens, we've disrupted a couple of performances. At both of Anne Teresa De Keersmacker's performances a couple of the jury got a little bit talky and a bit giggly. 

We're very very sorry. 

Up until that point we had been doing so well, but Keersmacker's work is challenging, though it's important to point out that the talkative girls actually liked the show a lot. 

One thing that is important to note is the historically evolving role of the audience and the expectations that we have of audience behaviour. It wasn't so long ago that the audience was found onstage and was more than welcome to talk and even interact. This tendency disappeared for a while but has shown strong signs of returning. A good chapter on the evolution of the role of the audience can be found in Clarke Mackey's book Random Acts of Culture. He argues that the reduction of the role of the spectator occurred in tandem with the reduction of the role of an active citizenship, though, Claire Bishop cautions against making too much of the political power of audience participation in her Artificial Hells

In any case, the role of the audience is always changing and if we are to take the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child seriously and include young people as active citizens, we may need a small rethink of their role at events like this. Is it reasonable to ask them not to attend? Probably not. Is it reasonable to ask them to not lose their shit when they see a naked man? Probably not. So what are we going to do? 

All I can do at this point is offer an apology to the performers and assure them that the young people meant no disrespect and that they did, in fact, enjoy the performances, it's just that sometimes enjoyment requires comment and a giggle.