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Collaboration, Violence and Difference

We are Colin Poole (UK) and Simon Ellis (NZ) - two dance artists who collaborate as Colin, Simon & I. In this chapter we reflect on the nature of collaboration using Slavoj Zizek’s thinking about distortion and violence featured in The Parallax View and Violence: Six Sideways Reflections. Without Zizek’s permission — indeed, by pulling his ideas from the contexts in which they were written (isn’t that what we do in performance studies?) — we massage his words and ideas to harness our curiosity and ask questions about how we make and perform choreographies. The writing reflects our artistic experience — particularly with respect to the development and presentation of our performance project Because We Care — in building, maintaining, and challenging collaborative relationships. Whereas collaboration is conventionally thought to demand care, patience, and harmony, we propose that it prospers under conditions that welcome antagonism, difference, friction, and even violence.

Reference: Ellis, Simon, and Colin Poole. 2014. Collaboration, Violence and Difference.” In Žižek and Performance, edited by Alex Mangold and Broderick Chow, 209–23. London: Palgrave.

Link: ellis-2014-collaboration.pdf

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