See Me! A Discussion on the Quality of Performing Arts for Children Based on a Performative Approach
In this article, the writer discusses and analyses what happens to the evaluation of quality in performing arts for children when we move from the notion of art as an object to art as an event. Erika Fischer-Lichte´s theory on the so-called performative turn in the arts and more specifically, the term feedback loop, constitute the article´s theoretical backdrop. Two audience-related episodes, the dance performance BZzBZz-DADA dA bee by ICB Productions (3–6 year olds) and the theatre performance Thought Lab by Cirka Teater (for 6-year-olds and above), serve as starting points for the theoretical discussion. By adopting Siemke Böhnisch’s performative approach to theatre analysis, focusing on the terms directed-ness2 and contact in relation to the audience, the writer seeks to show a dissonance (and its reverse) between the performers and the audience in the two respective performances. The term dissonance describes moments of unintended breaks in communication, moments of which the performers are most likely unaware. These moments, however, become apparent when the audience´s reactions are included in the analysis, and we become almost obliged to consider the child audience as qualified judges of quality, as opposed to allowing ourselves to dismiss their interactions as either noise or enthusiasm.