Double Happiness, a transport,

SP Jones

Research output: Non-textual formPerformance

Abstract

A multi-media performance with accompanying web-site doublehappines2.com, written and co-directed, funded by Singapore Arts Council, Singapore Tourism Board, Arts Fund, Lee Foundation, Arts Council of England and East Midlands Arts. Role: Simon Jones, co-director, writer. Chief Collaborators: co-director, choreographer - Sara Giddens (Nottingham Trent University), co-director - Paul Rae (spell#7, Singapore). Other Collaborators: sound artist - Chong Li Chuan, new media artist - Hanindah Zainomum, performers - Benjamin Clough, Dan Elloway, Kaylene Tan, Marianne Wee. Performance Venues: Black Box (Singapore), Arnolfini Gallery (Bristol), Bonington Gallery (Nottingham), Contact Theatre (Manchester), Drama Studio (Loughborough). Dates: October, November 2000, 12 performances. Other Outcomes: programme including extracts of performance text, photographs, critical introduction by Ben Slater (Showroom, Sheffield); web-site www.doublehappines2.com. Documentation: photographs, script, video tape, reviews. Funding: Singapore National Arts Council, Singapore Arts Fund, Lee Foundation, Singapore Arts Federation, Singapore Tourist Board, Theatreworks (Singapore), Arts Council of England, East Midlands Arts, Arnolfini Live, Bonington Gallery, Digital Summer Festival (Manchester). Double Happiness, Bodies in Flight Theatre's eleventh work, extended our central research concerns (see statement on Do the Wild Thing!) and developed our exploration of new technologies in performance in two related ways: a) the use of the web in relation to performance; and b) the issues around inter-cultural and inter-racial performance. Consequently, we collaborated with spell#7 performance group (Singapore) in three distinct phases: 1) a research workshop (July) during which spell#7 visited England; 2) a website (August) to frame and introduce the performance's topic of "Internet romance", constructed over the web between England and Singapore; and 3) a performance (September & October) developed in Singapore, then transferred to England. During each phases, the two apparently culturally-shared languages of English and the web were used as sites of contestation over cultural and racial differences: for example, the website's positioning between two differing cultural environments in relation to the performances themselves in one or the other culture, where experimental devised theatre has radically different connotations. The Chinese wedding ceremony, as practised in Singapore, was chosen as cultural site for the performance, as it expresses the tensions inherent in many Asian societies between western influences and indigenous traditions; although Singapore's colonial history and current political disposition as a "constructed" "Asian" society provided a very specific cultural perspective on this question of indigenous versus alien. Alongside this the verbal text sought to place a specifically English tradition in using the Shakespearean love-sonnet as model. In terms of exploring new technologies, the website not only contextualized the performance, but provided it with material as performers manipulated emails, chatrooms and web-cams during the event. This project was shown internationally in leading venues and festivals in Singapore and England, contributing directly to current debates on inter-cultural performance; and was further disseminated by programme, video, and website
Translated title of the contributionDouble Happiness, a transport,
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2000

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