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weird wacky wonderful

If you put five individual dancers on stage, and let them do their own excellent thing,

the performance you see is in some respects (when you just focus on one individual

dancer) sublime. But if you watch all five perform on stage together, to most viewers

the performers cease to be human. Audiences associate the performance with war,

with a lunatic asylum—a disturbing, disorientating and desolate environment. They

report disgust and other negative emotions.

What intrigues us is that individuals who act out their individual desires, individuals

who do not fulfil social expectations and do not meet standards of what is “normal”

end up being less recognizable as individuals–a process of dehumanization that may

be related to the audience’s desire to relate to them.

This paradox is the subject for the research week. Can we find ways of making this

fully liberated individual socially acceptable (perhaps even valued) member of the

community? We are interested in exploring the questions this phenomenon raises

about individuality and innovation, about human perception and social categorisation,

about social exclusion and the construction of deviance. The research week will try to

develop these questions into a focused theme that Random Collision and RUG want

to address in a future series of performances. (Tom Postmes)

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