From January-June 2017, I will be Artist-in-Residence at the Archive of Performances of Greek and Roman Drama, University of Oxford. Working alongside scholars in Classical Reception studies, and building on my recent practice-as-research ‘re-imagining’ the ancient Roman dance-theatre form (tragoedia saltata), I will be looking at the role the mask plays in both ancient performance and in my own choreographic work.
The residency sits within the wider context of my PhD research project. My research aims to probe shifting experiences of temporality when choreography ‘performs’ as museum exhibit, most specifically when these performances take place within the museum of ancient art and archaeology. Research questions include how we might consider the dancing body in the archaeological museum as a counter-archival object or, to use performance theorist Rebecca Schneider’s reworking of Foucault’s term, as a site of ‘counter-memory’ (Schneider 2011: 105). What then happens to our understanding of time when this im/material counter-archive is juxtaposed with other material, archival objects in the museum of ancient art and archaeology? If and when the dancing body in the museum becomes a site of counter-memory, might it allow new visibility for those bodies – most specifically those female bodies – previously unrepresented, misrepresented or rendered invisible by history?
As part of the residency, performance interventions are planned for March and June at the Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology, Oxford.
– Marie-Louise Crawley
Marie-Louise Crawley in Myrrha (2015), Photo Credit: Christian Hunt