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Intensified Bodies from the Performing Arts in Portugal

Gustavo Vicente

The way the body is considered and explored in the performing arts has assumed a growing importance, introducing new questions and cross-cutting perspectives on our understanding of the political, sociological and philosophical relevance of the body today.

This book is a meeting point for these questions, bringing together a set of contributors experienced in examining the body’s presence in live performances. It interweaves several disciplinary outlooks, addressing current theoretical debates on the body relating to the theory of affects, ethics, gender, age, discourse and representation.

Looking at recent practice in Portugal, the volume examines several cases where the body and issues of corporeality raise questions of memory, identity, experience and existence. It opens a rare window onto the distinctive Portuguese post-colonial legacy, which has given rise to an intensified search for new forms of bodily affirmation in the world. In so doing, the book conjures up the transformative power of performing arts today: from body into Being.

«The singularity of Portuguese performance and dance has been one of the significant forces in much of experimental live art in Europe over the past two decades. This volume, gathering original essays by an impressive array of Portugal’s most distinguished theorists in aesthetics, philosophy of art and performance theory, offers to the specialist and to the public at large not only an in-depth survey of that experimental force, but also demonstrates with remarkable success its influence in the formation of a truly experimental, powerfully singular and theoretically daring discourse on live performance.» — André Lepecki, Professor and Chair, Department of Performance Studies, New York University «This exciting collection creates a series of new collaborations between thought and performance, activating key corporeal concepts in the context of Portuguese performing arts past and present.» — Philipa Rothfield, Honorary Senior Lecturer in Politics and Philosophy, La Trobe University