Section Three: Movement for Contemporary Theatre

The final section begins by acknowledging that much contemporary theatre is postdramatic and intermedial, that is constructed with the interpellation of multiple semi-autonomous, theatrical languages – sound, design, architecture, movement, lighting, film and texts – in the mise en scène. Contemporary theatre is also increasingly deterritorialised by the global festival circuit, or decentred by intercultural exchanges, and transitory and nomadic modes of making theatre have emerged as tactics of creativity and survival that respond to localised or transnational cultural conditions. 

Four discrete case studies take up the notion of movement dynamics with some twenty-first century theories about velocity (fast and slow), animation and forces that shape and manipulate the experience of movement. These include solo and ensemble performances that ask how we remember or avenge minority histories; how we negotiate selfhood and media saturation; and how labour practices exploit human labour.  Looking at the work of contemporary productions from the United Kingdom, United States, China, Germany-Bangladesh and Australia, one of the core themes of this section is to ask how movement flows, and how nomadic concepts of theatre contribute to the circulation of capital, ideas and media in the twenty-first century. 


Steen, S. World Factory: Theatre, Labor, and China’s “New Left”, Theatre Survey, Vol. 58: 1, American Society for Theatre Research, 24-47