University of Surrey

Test tubes in the lab Research in the ATI Dance Research

From Homo Performans to Interspecies Collaboration: Expanding the concept of performance to include animals

Cull, LK (2014) From Homo Performans to Interspecies Collaboration: Expanding the concept of performance to include animals In: Performing Animality: Animals in Performance Practice. Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke / New York.

[img] Text (licence)
Restricted to Repository staff only
Available under License : See the attached licence file.

Download (33kB)


This essay is concerned with the idea of a expansion of the concept of performance in order to be more inclusive of non-human animals. Could it be that - as part of developing a more animal-oriented Performance Studies (or, research at the intersection of Animal and Performance Studies) - we need to rethink dominant concepts of performance along similar lines to the expansion of ‘the notion of language to include embodied communication’ (Puchner 2007: 28)? The first part of the chapter deals with this question with respect to performance scholarship; the second addresses it in relation to two specific examples of contemporary performance practice, both of which could be described as forms of collaborative and improvisational performance involving animals (one with wild animals, the other with domesticated ones). The first of these practices is the work of David Rothenberg - a professor of philosophy and music at the New Jersey Institute of Technology, but also a practicing jazz clarinetist with an interest in the production of ‘interspecies music’. The second is that of Sami Sälpäkivi, who has been working with horses in Finland since 1999 and specifically on contact improvisation with horses since 2001-2002, as well as forming the first horse theatre in Finland.

Item Type: Book Section
Subjects : Performing Arts
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > Guildford School of Acting
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Authors :
Cull, LK
Editors :
Orozco, L
Parker-Starbuck, J
Date : 1 April 2014
Uncontrolled Keywords : animals, nonhuman, interspecies, music, dance, contact improvisation, jazz, performance
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 28 Mar 2017 15:28
Last Modified : 05 Mar 2019 14:08

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

Information about this web site

© The University of Surrey, Guildford, Surrey, GU2 7XH, United Kingdom.
+44 (0)1483 300800