“Locating the Artist-Researcher: Shifting Sites of Performance as Research [PAR] in Canada” by Laura Levin
This is an essay on different models of practice as research in Canada published in Mapping Landscapes for Performance as Research: Scholarly Acts and Creative Cartographies, edited by Shannon Rose Riley and Lynette Hunter (Palgrave, 2009). Here I illustrate how specific material conditions within Canada’s academic and artistic environments have shaped approaches to performance as a research activity. To do so, I highlight three areas in which performance is being explored as a site of knowledge production, focusing primarily on performance in Ontario as an illuminating case study. These three related axes, which I refer to as research/creation, urban intervention, and pure research, provide a complex matrix for defining the “artist-researcher” in Canada. While Canadian scholars in several disciplinary contexts have adopted Performance Studies paradigms, incorporating practice-based approaches in their research and teaching, the precise terms of this exchange differ significantly in the Canadian context, reflecting less the idioms of Performance Studies found in the US than the discourses and preoccupations of Canada’s funding bodies and cultural institutions.
Some other resources on practice as performance as research in Canada:
Barton, Bruce and Pil Hanson. “Research-Based Practice: Situating Vertical City between Artistic Development and Applied Cognitive Science.” The Drama Review 53.4 (Winter 2009): 120-136.
Canadian Journal of Practice-based Research in Theatre. Ed. Claire Borody and Monica Prendergast. http://cjprt.uwinnipeg.ca/index.php/cjprt/index (A journal devoted to PBR with many articles on Canadian subjects)
Quirt, Brian. Ed. Special Issue on “Creative Research and New Play Development.” Canadian Theatre Review 119 (Summer 2004).