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Towards Tomorrow?

theatre X performance

An International Gathering Exploring

y = √ practice2 (1- performance2 / theatre2)

6 -10 April 2005

Centre for Performance Research

University of Wales, Aberystwyth, Wales, UK

 Let's purge this choler without letting blood:
This we prescribe, though no physician;
Deep malice makes too deep incision;
Forget, forgive; conclude and be agreed;
Our doctors say this is no month to bleed.
                                             King Richard II Act 1, Scene 1

List of contributors

Programme (Provisional)

Wednesday / Thursday / Friday/ Saturday/ Sunday

Booking Information (limited daily rate places available now)

Maps and Room Plans for Delegates

At this major gathering of key practitioners and scholars from around the world the conference programme will comprise:


·                     Performances

·                     Expositions

·                     Workshops

·                     Panels and Debates  

·                     Interrogations and Enthusiasms

·                     Open Sessions

Thank you to the following for their support 

Ty Nant Spring Water







As the Centre for Performance Research (CPR) celebrates thirty years of work, this gathering will build upon and extend the dialogues and debates that CPR has forged over its journey from research laboratory to research centre. ’Towards Tomorrow?’ will examine the complex relations between performance and theatre, their aesthetic practices, and their past, present and future.

Towards Tomorrow? does not seek to prescribe but rather aims to tease out questions and possibilities through a series of enquiries and platforms offering a range of perspectives on performance, theatre, and performance research, whether these be historicised or contemporised; extemporised, speculative, or imagined; gradualist or radicalist; prophetic, portentous or prognosticative; embodied, practical or immersive.  Themes, topics, and areas of enquiry will include:

Bodies in Process; The Dangers of Failure; Fear of Flying; Performance Profit; The Human and the Inhuman; Past Futures, Nijinksy’s Last Dance; Radical Obessions; Artaud in the Age of Electra, Gestus and Globalisation; Performing the Disaster; Figuring China’s Rise; On Generous Theatricality; Theatre and Food; Disturbing Performance; Choreographing The Fabrication of Giants; Failing to Risk and Risking to Fail; The Limits to Economy; The Sisterhood of Sybils.

You are warmly invited to join us and add your thoughts to the equation.

Confirmed contributors include: 

Joshua Abrams (UK); Philip Auslander (USA); Julia Lee Barclay (UK); Rustom Bharucha (India); Simon Bayly (UK);  Krystof Blom (Belgium); Alice Briggs (Wales, UK); Iwan Brioc (Wales, UK); Steven Connor (UK); John Elsom (UK); Peter Falkenberg (NZ); Josette Féral (France); Rabab Ghazoul (Wales, UK); Jane Goodall (Australia); Richard Gough (Wales, UK); Guillermo Gomez-Peña (Mexico/USA); Dror Harari (Israel); Alison Hodge (UK);  Helen Iball (UK); Irish Modern Dance Theatre (Ireland); Jude James (UK); Paul Jeff (Wales, UK); Isabel Jones (UK); Karen Juers-Munby; Adrian Kear (UK); Joe Kelleher (UK); Dragan Klaic Netherlands); Komiker (Wales, UK); Daniel Mayer-Dinkgräfe (Wales, UK); Michal Kobialka (USA); Ray Langenbach (Singapore); Zoë Laughlin (UK); Martina Leeker (UK); Hans Thies Lehmann (Germany); Shimon Levy (Israel); Lisa Lewis (Wales, UK); Alphonso Lingis (USA); Arya Madhavan (India); Silke Mansholt (UK/Germany); Rita Marcalo (UK);  Bonnie Marranca (USA);  Rita Marcalo (UK); Julian Maynard-Smith (UK); Sharon Mazer (NZ); Shazia Mirza (UK); Jon McKenzie (UK); Susan Melrose (UK); Richard Huw-Morgan (Wales, UK) Sreenath Nair (India); Victoria Nelson (USA); Kristine Nutting (Canada); Jan Overfield (UK); Roger Owen (Wales, UK); Jennifer Parker-Starbuck ( UK);  Marian Pastor-Roces (Philippines); Pam Patterson (Canada); Shannon Payne (USA); Ailsa Richardson (Wales, UK);  Patrice Pavis (France); Mikyoung Pearce (UK); Mike Pearson (Wales, UK); Krzysztof Plesniarowicz (Poland);  Paul Rae (Singapore); Louise Ritchie (UK); Alan Read (UK); Freddie Rokem (Israel); Heike Roms (Wales, UK); Petra Sabisch (UK); Marko Stamenkovic (Serbia & Montenegro); Stelarc (Australia); TRAWS (The Inter-University Research Group for Performance in Wales); Jennifer Verson (UK); Victoria Theatre Company/LaLa#2 (Belgium); Volcano Theatre Company (Wales, UK); Wagner-Feigl-Forschung (Germany); Mick Wallis (UK); Dan Watt (Wales, UK);  Martin Welton (UK);  Faith Wilding (USA); Rebecca Woodford-Smith (UK).

List of contributors

Programme (Provisional)

Wednesday / Thursday / Friday/ Saturday/ Sunday

Booking Information

Maps and Room Plans for Delegates


Towards Tomorrow?

Temporalities: Then, Now, To Come

Then: Theoretical discourse has structured and transformed the environments of theatre and performance. Towards Tomorrow? provides a FORUM for both a critical reflection on performance and the nature of cultural theory and to assess its future both beyond and within the academy.

Now:   The event of performance, its practice and presence will be explored. There will be OPPORTUNITIES for practitioners to interrogate theorists and for the statement of radical agendas and manifestos.

To Come: The development of the future of the field belongs to another GENERATION. This gathering will not determine such a future, but it will be determined to keep open all possible transformations, evolutions and revolutions that may be on their way.


Towards Tomorrow? will explore the relation between theatre and performance, risk and failure, events and institutions to understand how the possibilities of performance, and the history of organisations such as CPR, might be considered?

*possibility,  3.    a. Regarded or stated as an attribute of the agent: The fact of something (expressed or implied) being possible to one, in virtue either of favourable circumstances or of one's own powers; hence, Capacity, capability, power, ability; pecuniary ability, means.

Is there a fractal structure (a finite area bounded by an infinite distance) to the discipline,  its manifestation as practice and its future, as yet unknown, transformations? What are the issues of survival: of a discipline and its practice, its organisations, and the relationship with the academy?

fractal, A mathematically conceived curve such that any small part of it, enlarged, has the same statistical character as the original.

How does the spiritual aspect of performance – space, body, time and imagination – integrate and challenge both the formal and the theoretical articulations of work? 

Does such a consideration generate its own eschatology; if so, what is the apocalypse of performance?

apocalypse, 1. (With capital initial.) The ‘revelation’ of the future granted to St. John in the isle of Patmos. The book of the New Testament in which this is recorded. 2. By extension: Any revelation or disclosure.


Some Operations…..

Towards Tomorrow?  includes In Extremis: Fundamental(ist)s of Performance 
a ‘platform, soapbox, and propaganda’ station, for the promulgation and dissemination of 
extreme enthusiasms, radical obsessions, pristine lies and rotten truth. A space to present
ideas: contemporary, anachronistic, contentious and conformist.
    dissemination, The action of scattering or spreading abroad seed, or anything likened to it; the fact or condition of being thus diffused; dispersion, diffusion, promulgation.

Towards Tomorrow? will offer a programme of performances and workshops alongside presentations of archive photographic and video material from theatre companies and performers from across the world.

  archive, 1. A place in which public records or other important historic documents are kept.  (v)To place or store in an archive; in Computing, to transfer to a store containing infrequently used files, or to a lower level in the hierarchy of memories, esp. from disc to tape.

The schedule for each day will include KEYNOTES, PANEL SESSIONS, as well as  PRACTICAL or RESEARCH ENQUIRIES.

  enquiry, 1. a. The action of seeking, esp. (now always) for truth, knowledge, or information concerning something; search, research, investigation, examination.


Questions of tomorrow must also be concerned with generations, the potential of youthand the energy and vitality it will provide performance in the future. 

Towards Tomorrow? will include Generation24 – Our panel of young practitioners of the future, from schools and colleges in Wales and internationally, who will observe and intervene in the proceedings with the interruptive urgency of the future’s call.

generation, I. The action of generating.  1. a. The act or process of generating or begetting physically; procreation; propagation of species. c. Manner of descent: genealogy, pedigree. rare.    2. a. Production by natural or artificial processes (as of plants, animals, substances, etc.).Also, mode of formation, nature of origin (obs.).

Click here for Booking information and fees. To register interest please email CPR or complete the booking form.

Continuing the CPR tradition for high quality events staged in an individual way

Throughout the event care is taken to forge links between people and ideas and to create formal and informal opportunities for people to exchange information about current and future projects. CPR’s long history of bringing together international performance practitioners and scholars in a potent spirit of debate/friendship, argument/opposition also serves as the occasion to highlight and focus work at the forefront of future developments in the field.

30 + 10: Throughout 2004/5 CPR will be celebrating 30 years of work and 10 years in Aberystwyth.