Get Up and Tie Your Fingers Eyemouth: Listening for dialogic resonance within a co-produced community performance

Pavey, Elizabeth and MacPherson, Fiona (2022) Get Up and Tie Your Fingers Eyemouth: Listening for dialogic resonance within a co-produced community performance. Journal of Arts & Communities, 13 (1). pp. 25-45. ISSN 1757-1936

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This article addresses concepts and theories of listening and the impact these can have on community theatre-making. The article draws on Jean-Luc Nancy’s analysis of listening as resonance (écouter) rather than listening to hear meaning (entendre), and considers his concept of renvoi (a return, send back, repeat). Get Up and Tie Your Fingers Eyemouth was a participatory performance work that the authors of this article ‐ theatre director Fiona MacPherson and dance artist Liz Pavey ‐ together with musician Eleanor Logan, realized with multigenerational cast in Eyemouth, Scotland. We analyse how listening techniques became the primary model of rehearsal activity and approach to performing which Fiona developed with the narrators in this production. An emphasis on listening supported the development of new methods of ensemble storytelling fostering a collective creative agency in how participants worked with the script and explored the musicality of the dialogue. These innovative methodologies question conventional and hierarchical delineation of artistic roles in performance making and storytelling challenging traditional notions of ownership in theatre practice. Our analysis considers listening as an embodied and emplacement activity particularly within the context of a coastal location. We argue that an attention to listening can foster aesthetic and somatic sensibility and awareness of interrelationship of self and environment. The article concludes with initial analysis of how we have been furthering our exploration of the application of listening practices to performance making within our subsequent collaboration with the Eyemouth community, Eyemouth: People and The Sea.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: applied theatre, coastal communities, community performance, dialogue, embodiment, listening, multi-sensory, storytelling
Subjects: W400 Drama
Department: Faculties > Arts, Design and Social Sciences > Arts
Depositing User: Rachel Branson
Date Deposited: 14 Nov 2022 16:05
Last Modified: 14 Nov 2022 16:15

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