Contemporary Performance Practice
School - School of Arts & Media
Subject area - Performing Arts
Start Date(s): September
One year full-time
Two years part-time
2019-20 fees will be displayed shortly.
Part-time - £1,260 per 30 credit module
UK - £7,560
International - £13,860
- Develop cutting-edge practices and approaches to contemporary performance-making in an interdisciplinary, laboratory environment, with a focus on creative exploration
- Make and research in world-class performance-making facilities at MediaCityUK and the New Adelphi Arts Centre
- Immerse yourself in the vibrant arts and performance scene in Salford and Manchester.
- Part-time study option
- International students can apply
The MA Contemporary Performance Practice is a practical, interdisciplinary course that will introduce you to a range of approaches and concepts, which are vital to the making of live performance in and in response to the world today. It will equip you with the skills and knowledge to function in contemporary performance environments, as a performer, maker, collaborative practitioner and researcher.
Drawing upon the excellent facilities for making live performance at New Adelphi and MediaCityUK, this course also provides the entrepreneurial and employability skills you need to function as a practitioner in the wider creative industries.
This course will also allow you to extend and develop skill sets through interdisciplinary exchange and collaboration, mirroring working environments within the creative industries. You will develop the ability to think dynamically, act originally, collaborate and function effectively in creative workplaces, integrating theoretical concepts, creative practice and real world skills.
You will also, through the core modules and final project, develop your own contemporary performance practice, culminating in the presentation of a significant piece of work, which you can then go on to use in professional contexts.
MA Contemporary Performance Practice offers you the opportunity to develop and refine your current practices, learn about new skills and approaches and engage with the issues most relevant to making performance in the world now.
Through the course you will:
- Collaborate creatively to explore, experiment and create new performance work
- Engage with key approaches and aspects of making contemporary performance, such as the use and influence of digital technologies, the role and positioning of the audience and the ways in which your practice can engage with both local and global issues
- Explore the theories, frameworks and practices in the field and how these are developing and responding to the contemporary world
In the first semester, you will engage in two core modules, which will lay the foundations for your developing performance practice. Through these modules, you will engage with key writings, theories, practices and issues within contemporary performance. In addition, you will engage in practical research, including an intensive collaborative project, led by a key contemporary performance practitioner
In this opening practical module of the programme, you will be introduced to a range of approaches to contemporary performance-making, including an intensive at the beginning of the module, with a contemporary practitioner in the industry. This will be followed by blocks of practical teaching and testing approaches, exploring areas such as:
- Intimacy and one to one performance
- Politics and participation
- Sound and Text: sonic-led performance making
- Interactivity and the digital
- Place-making, community and responding to where you are
This module sets out key concepts, theories and practices which inform contemporary performance-making. Drawing on both historical and contemporary practices, the module prompts discussion and debate as to the key concerns for practitioners making performance now:
- The contemporary performance landscape: an introduction to key terms and practices
- The experience economy and ‘theatres of engagement’
- The post-digital world and live performance
- Working together: contemporary modes of creative collaboration
- Intimacy, affect and the audience
- Live art in the 21st century
- The ‘emancipated spectator’ and politics of participation
- Performance writing/Writing for performance
- Stripping back: ‘Gig theatre’ and contemporary responses to austerity
In this module, you will work on refining and developing practices established in the first semester. You will be expected to make choices, through the course of the module, as to your key areas of enquiry and practice, which you will explore, research and refine through supervised studio sessions, knowledge exchange with peers and scratch presentations of work. This module is supported by weekly sessions addressing the following broad strategies in creating performance:
- Practice as Research: using enquiry as a spur for creation
- Research and development: approaches to creating from scratch
- Who is it for?: thinking about your audience and strategies of engagement
- Knowledge exchange: productive approaches to collaboration, co-creation and feedback
- The performance landscape: engaging with performance practices in your field in your process
- Networks and critical friends: developing a creative net of practitioners
- Space and site
- Working with technology
- Documentation and dissemination: approaches to sharing your practice
- Diversification: how to live a creative life (and make a living)
This module addresses interdisciplinary collaborations and how they can fuel, prompt and enrich practices. The following areas will be addressed, as part of this module and you will be expected to formulate a creative partnership with a student or practitioner in another discipline, to develop ideas for a creative, interdisciplinary project to explore for instance:
- Performance and Science
- Performance and the Environment
- Performance and Pedagogy
- Performance and Visual Art
- Performance and Gaming
- Performance and Music
- Performance and Computing
- Performance and Health
- Performance and Place
In this final project, you will be asked to propose an area of enquiry, arising from your work in the core modules and workshops, to explore practically in Semester 3. On submitting your proposal, you will be assigned a supervisor to support your work in this area. Developing your performance practice, either individually or in collaboration with others, the results of this investigation will be presented live, as part of a mini-festival of new work in contemporary performance at New Adelphi and MediaCityUK.