The Roots of Theatre from the Point of View of Performance and Media Studies Cover Image
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Korzenie teatru z perspektywy performatywno-medialnej
The Roots of Theatre from the Point of View of Performance and Media Studies

Author(s): Artur Duda
Subject(s): Theatre, Dance, Performing Arts
Published by: Instytut Sztuki Polskiej Akademii Nauk
Keywords: theatre studies;performatism;media studies;

Summary/Abstract: The article discusses the issue of cultural roots of theatre as analysed from the point of view of performance and media studies. Its starting point is a critical reading of the well-known book by Eli Rozik, The Roots of Theatre, as well as a debate with some theses held by anthropologists of spectacle, whereby the author is able to point out essential points of his own outlook on the origins of theatre. These are as follows: 1) theatre and ritual are live performances, and from the media studies perspective, they are human and iconic media; 2) the roots of theatre are manifold (polygenesis); 3) the roots of theatre should not be sought either in the psyche or in prehistory—in both cases, it is about performativity, not theatricality; 4) theatre emerges in sufficiently developed civilisations, in a specific performative environment from which it draws patterns of stage behaviour. It means that initially, theatre is a medium stitched from other media (in analogy to the rhapsodist stitching songs together). In ancient Greece, theatre as a religious and state medium emerged within the framework of the Dionysian festival, which functioned as a vortex of behaviour attracting other forms of rituals, spectacles and contests and afforded many pretexts for implementing various performance art conventions in theatre. Evidence of theatre’s heterogeneity in this respect can be found in Aristophanes’ comedies and in medieval performances.

  • Issue Year: 257/2016
  • Issue No: 1-2
  • Page Range: 75-96
  • Page Count: 22
  • Language: Polish