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Audience participation


Photo by J.J. Tiziou

In art magazine Esopus I read about a dance performance called CELL put on by the Headlong Dance Theater. It attempts to create a performance for one audience member at a time. The piece asks some really interesting questions like 'Who is part of the performance? Why is everyone always on their phone? Am I being watched?' The performance culminates with the audience member engulfed in a private dance that is all their own. The piece premiered at the Philadelphia Live Arts Festival in 2006. There were 200 audience members overall (which means the piece was performed 200 times!).

I think there are a lot more interesting questions that this piece addresses like: Why is the connection between maker and audience so important?
Why is this group trying to heighten or change that connection?
Where is the line between performer and voyeur (presumably the audience of one is still watching to some degree although s/he is also participating)?