rethinking why performance matters through the matter of performance
Performing Idea

Associated Researchers

These research students are registered at the Performance Matters partner academic departments: the Department of Visual Cultures at Goldsmiths, University of London and Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies at Roehampton University. Their individual research projects explore issues of concern to Performance Matters.

Lisa Alexander

Lisa is an artist, performance maker and writer based in London. Her work may take the form of a one-to-one encounter, a social experiment, a performance, installation or text; exploring the ways in which we inhabit space, identify place and enact our (auto)biographies. Lisa seeks in her work to unearth fissures in the physical and psychical landscapes of everyday life, as a strategy through which to dissemble social tautologies, exploring the rupture of a visceral, emplaced selfhood through the contexts, staging and per-formance of encounter: “The narratable self desires this story from the mouth of another…told within the dwelling-time, the existence of the life itself,” (Cavarero). She is also pursuing these concerns in her PhD research at Roehampton: Dramaturgies of fissure: a poetics of (auto)biography through place, in a series of artworks, actions and texts using the home as a psycho-social and mnemonic frame and as site. Lisa originally trained in dance theatre (LABAN 1996) and has made solo and collaborative work and held residencies notably in London, Cuba and Russia, project-funded by Arts Council England. She has taught performance practice and choreography at university and worked as a programme curator with arts organisations across dance, theatre and visual art. She was one of 7 artists to be mentored by Franko B in 2007/8.

Lisa Alexander's website

Annalaura Alifuoco

Born and raised in Naples, Southern Italy, Annalaura Alifuoco now lives and works in London. In 2006, she was awarded an Honours degree in Performing Arts at London Metropolitan University, followed by an MA in Physical Theatre and Performance at Royal Holloway University of London (2008). Since 2005, Annalaura has been associate artist of LEIBNIZ, a performance collective established by Dr. Ernst Fischer & Helen Spackman and dedicated to exploring issues of belonging, personal and communal identities and human rights. Her ongoing enquiry into the relationship between embodiment, subjectivity and socio/political engagement is an attempt to stretch the possibilities and definitions of performance in order to develop its potential to participate and intervene in the very human flights between desire and terror, love and death. She is currently pursuing this enquiry in the form of a PhD at Roehampton, which aims to formulate a way of ‘performing’ the archive based on embodied practices of recovering. By deconstructing the axiom of the product as the end-point of the processes of re-presentation, her project aims to address key questions regarding the preservation of performance, the reiteration of its experiential and embodied forces, and the impact of various forms of language, document, and archive on meaning.

Gigi Argyropoulou

Gigi studied theatre and acting at undergraduate level and completed an MA in Visual Performance, Time Based Art Practices (Dartington College of Art). She co-founded F2 Performance Unit, one of the first groups in Greece making experimental performance. Working in the field of collaboratively devised performance and installation, Gigi has produced, performed in, and directed performances in theatres, galleries, and found spaces in Greece, Italy and England. Her work is task-based and engages with social architectures while exploring the nature of the performer/audience relation. Gigi has taught at Universities and drama schools in UK, Greece and Italy. Currently she is working as an artist and curator/programmer, and on a PhD at Roehampton. Her postgraduate research centres on the structure of the embodied experience of the spectator/participant in performance, with a focus placed on the potential strategies and compositional methodologies that might be used to construct such an experience. It examines the role of cultural context and social narrative in this type of work, and asks whether structures can be discovered which allow the viewer to enter into co-authorship while the work still retains it’s own specific identity.

Vikki Chalklin

Vikki is a queer fat femme performer, activist and scholar based in London. Abandoning her performance ambitions as a teenager, she went on to study literary criticism, media and cultural studies and feminist, queer, and body theory before her PhD research flung her back into the realm of performance and onto the stage.
Her current research is located at the intersection of body theory and performance studies, investigating what a consideration of affect, relationality and embodied subjectivity can bring to the study of performance, and how performance and spectatorship might develop our understanding of intersubjective and intercorporeal processes. Her PhD, based jointly in the Media and Visual Cultures departments of Goldsmiths, University of London employs creative auto- and performance ethnographic methods to explore London's queer performance club scene, with particular reference to performances of queer femininity. When not teaching media and cultural studies or writing her thesis, Vikki likes to blur the boundaries between her worlds, giving cabaret-style performances of her academic work at conferences, and performance lectures at queer performance and cabaret clubs.

Joanna Clegg

Joanna is a returning Roehampton postgraduate who carried out both her BA and MA at Roehampton in Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies. Having worked in the Public Sector for the past four years she has decided to return to academia. Her interests are grounded in the 'approach' to Performance, as both an object and discipline, and her research endeavours to explore this further through experimentation with writing conventions as a mechanism to both 'critique' and 'create'. Joanna’s research seeks to examine the way in which writing in non-conventional ways will endeavour to recapture disused practices and explore those which have yet to be used when approaching performance through writing. Her project will perform a series of experiments, each focussing on a specific convention that will attempt to deal with notions of temporality, authorship, structure and form within the context of today’s digitalised world. Albeit writing-based, she considers this project to be practice-based research; examined, experimented and performed through writing.

Mathias Danbolt

Mathias Danbolt is a Norwegian queer activist, art historian, and founding editor of Trikster – Nordic Queer Journal. He is currently working on a PhD in Art History at The University of Bergen, Norway, and his research project, with the working title "Touching History: The Affective Economies of Queer Activist Historiography", explores the ways in which contemporary queer activism, art, and performance engage with political histories of the past. With an outset in current Scandinavian gender and sexual politics, the project investigates how activists and artists disrupt dominant progress narratives by esablishing anachronistic, melancholic, desirable, and erotic relations with the past.
Mathias is also the co-editor of the book Lost and Found: Queerying the Archive (with Louise Wolthers and Jane Rowley; Copenhagen 2009) and has published articles on contemporary art and literature, gender and sexuality, queer theory and social activism in different books and journals in Scandinavia. He lives and works in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Trikster website

João Florêncio

João Florêncio is a young Portuguese philosopher and cultural theorist based in London. His first contacts with the notion of performing took place during his teenage days back home as a member of his local youth theatre company. He then went to study Musicology in Lisbon and Film Studies in Venice only to end up in London with a Masters Degree in Media Arts Philosophy. João is interested in the political, in the aesthetical, in the production of difference (or how bodies become "new"), and in the problematics of agency and change in late capitalist societies. In his MA dissertation, Transgressing the Skin: The Event of the Sublime as a Politics of Difference, João drank from the writings of Kant, Nietzsche, Bataille, Deleuze, Guattari, Lyotard, and Nancy and from the performance works of Franko B in order to address the aesthetical Sublime as a weapon against the autocracies of Knowledge. For his PhD he is set to sketch the apparatus of production of revalued subjectivities in Live Art and within the "Reduce, Reuse and Recycle" dynamics of contemporary Eco-Capitalism. João has also written for British and American performance and queer magazines and lectures occasionally in Continental Philosophy and Performance.

Oriana Fox

Oriana Fox is an American artist based in London. Since graduating with an MA in Fine Art from Goldsmiths in 2003 and being selected for the 2004 New Contemporaries, she has shown her video and performance work to acclaim in the UK, Europe and the US. In 2007 she was an artist in residence at Triangle France in Marseille and more recently in 2009 she received a bursary to do research at The Women's Art Library which culminated in a live art event at Tate Modern. Her video and performance work replay scenes from her own life through kitsch characters and cultural clichés, addressing wider issues of femininity, identity and autobiography. As a PhD student in the Visual Cultures department at Goldsmiths, her research will look at re-enacting feminist performance through the creation of an alternative history, examining the use of humour, sentiment and camp.

Oriana's website

Mariella Greil

Mariella is interested in the choreographic and works in performances, tableaux vivantes, installations as well as collaborations with artists of differing media. She studied at the Hogeschool voor de kunsten Arnhem/European Dance Development Center, and received BA, MA from the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna. She has lectured at the Department of Performing Arts, Faculty of Arts and Media at the University of Chester. Mariella received the Danceweb Europe Scholarship and is part of international artists collective Sweet and Tender Collaborations. Her postgraduate research at Roehampton explores contact, resistance and remaining true to what may be; a problematization of parrhesia in performance. Her research debates centre on the cultural and philosophical resonances of physical parrhesia in current work and related practices, aiming to further understand the framing of pre-conditions for the possibility of encounter/contact/relation between performer and spectator. She investigates events of ties, touch, contact, and relation without alibi with specific reference to the dancing body: "I am interested in the poetic capacity of the thinking body and its becoming gesture."

Sweet and Tender Collaboration's website

Eeva-Mari Haikala

Eeva-Mari Haikala is a Finnish visual artist and freelance writer based in Helsinki and London. She makes her works in different mediums such as video, film, installation and photography, often drawing on the tradition of performance. Her works deal with the issues of the female body, intimacy and autobiography, amongst other themes.
Eeva-Mari has had solo exhibitions in many gallerys, including Helsinki City Art Museum’s Kluuvi Gallery, Turku Art Museum’s Darkroom and SPACEX Gallery in Exeter. Her works have been shown in numerous group exhibitions, as well as in film and video festivals in Finland and abroad, and recently she has been performing live in Helsinki, Tampere and London. As a freelance writer she contributes regularly to the Finnish art magazine Taide. At the moment Eeva-Mari is working on a publication project about Live Art in Finland.
She has received an MA from Helsinki University of Art and Design, and an MA from Helsinki University’s Art History department. Eeva-Mari is a Phd candidate at  Roehampton University. Her practice-based research project explores the possibilites for visual art genre, especially still life, within both live and video/film performance.

Eeva-Mari Haikala's website

R Justin Hunt

Justin is a lecturer, producer and performer. He received his bachelor’s degree in Educational Theater and Dance from Emerson College and his Master’s in Performance Studies from the Tisch School of the Arts, New York University. Justin is a co-founding Producer for 0227 Productions and on the board of Collective: Unconscious. Most recently Justin was the associate producer for the 18th Annual HOT! Festival of Queer Art and Culture. Justin's work is at the intersection of a range of disciplines surrounding the body in performance. His PhD project at Roehampton continues his work on queer narratives/performances that re-write/alter our perceptions of the body. Seeking to outline the genealogy of a collection of queer performances, this project will both archive the work and consider the material politics of the performances.

Pavlos Kountouriotis

Pavlos Kountouriotis is a performance artist/choreographer and  performance theoretician. He holds a B.A. in International Relations and Diplomacy (International Law), an LL.M. (adv) in Public International Law and an M.A. in Dance Theatre: Body in Performance. He has received twice the prestigious scholarship of DanceWEB Europe, the Onasis Foundation Scholarship and also the Asian Europe Foundation Scholarship, Fullbright Foundation and State Institute of Scholarships of Greece. He has worked with seminal choreographers such as Trisha Brown, Marten Spangberg, Boris Charmatz, Meg Stuart, Kirsten Debrock and many others and he is an artist of the Sweet and Tender Collective.
His own performance work has been presented in several countries including The Netherlands, Germany, France, Italy, Portugal, Spain, United Kingdom, Poland and elsewhere. In 2008 he got commissionned to choreograph a piece for Companhia Instavel, and he presented his solo performance Lecture Regarding the Pain of Others in Live Art and Dance Festivals.
Pavlos Kountouriotis has been a Lecturer at the University of Chester, a Visiting Lecturer at the SOZO- Visions in Motion Higher Education Dance School of Kassel and a Ph.D. research student at Roehampton University.
His research interests are focused on the neuroanalytic perspective of pain and the fabrication of Modern Subjectivity. He is a fervent fan of logical thinking and affection.

Pavlos' website

Fabrizio Manco

Fabrizio Manco is an artist and has trained in Fine Art, Art & Design, both in Italy and London and Finland (Parabita Art Institute, City Lit, Helsinki Art Academy, Slade School UCL, BA/MA Fine Art). He studied Arts & Humanities at the University of Lecce, Italy, and has trained in Butoh and in performance in Italy, England and Japan. He has shown and performed work, taken up residencies and research nationally and internationally, developing a body of work, research and dissemination of ideas and organising and devising projects, working both solo and collaboratively. He is also a visiting lecturer, and continues to facilitate workshops.  His postgraduate research at Roehampton links acoustic ecology and concepts of place, as exemplified in site-specific performance, through the idea of embodied performance taking place. "I am interested in applying the aural in performance as ‘a different way’ in to that offered by sight, which has been privileged in much work on both site-specific performance and contemporary art."  Through the use of phenomenology and theories of lived perception, Fabrizio's experimental artistic approach draws on work in ecosophy, biology, neuroscience, and psychology.

Katerina Paramana

Katerina Paramana (Athens, Greece) is a London-based performance artist and choreographer. Her interest lies in the relationships that exist between those who author narratives, those who receive them, and the inter-textual cultural and political web that frames them. In order to question these relationships, her work explores the undermining of narrative structures through duration, repetition and systems of signification. Katerina pursues these investigations in her PhD research at Roehampton University, reflecting on how they can invite active witnessing; a transformative act of reading and co-authoring that can be carried into society as a mode of thought and action. Her PhD studies are funded by the Onassis Public Benefit Foundation.
Katerina’s work takes the form of conventional theatre format or durational performance. It has been presented at various theatres and experimental dance and theatre platforms in the U.K. and the U.S. She has also performed for various artists and companies in both countries at venues including Tate Modern, Departure Gallery, Southbank Centre, Laban Centre, Lincoln Centre (NYC), Kennedy Centre (Washington, D.C.), and Chicago Symphony Centre.
Katerina holds an MA in Choreography from Laban, a BA in Dance and a BA in Theatre from University of Maryland, College Park (U.S.). She has taught workshops on performance making, choreography, dance technique, dance and theatre improvisation in the UK and the US.

Katerina's Website

Eleftheria Rapti

Eleftheria is a dance artist from Greece working both on solo projects and in collaboration with other artists across different disciplines. She holds an MA in Contemporary Dance Performance from Limerick University, Ireland, and a BA in Philosophy, Pedagogy and Psychology from Athens University, Greece. Her research practice for Roehampton University enacts a process of performing the unschooled body (project title). Trying to discover the strange dramaturgy of this role, she passes through choreography, theatricality and performativity, and engages in an exploration of the tensions between body and theory, performance and writing, learning and knowing- by tracing their creative potential, on stage and in writing.

Jungmin Song

Jungmin Song is a performance artist and writer. Coming from puppetry practice, she creates performances concerned with animating everyday objects through the way in which truthful to objects themselves. Based on Heideggerian concept of origin of things lying on their 'reliability' - what objects prevail when we use them - she transfers the actions in using objects in everyday life to the realm of performances, approaching them as phenomenological discourse that attentively describes dynamics of actions in the context of art practice. She is currently on PhD at Roehampton University pursuing the enquiry surrounding her practice. She is working on her thesis 'Narratives told by Everyday Objects - Performance and Phenomenology of Things' in which she theorizes narratives of performance derived from ontology of objects and performing body. In her writing strategy she employs analogies comparing the dynamic structure of objects, which she grasps in practice, to phenomenon of performances to illustrate her theories.

Jay Stewart

Having completed his MA in the department of Visual Cultures at Goldsmiths College, Jay is now carrying out his PhD currently entitled “Trans on Telly: Popular Documentary and the Production of Transgender Knowledge”, which explores understandings of trans identities through mainstream televisual documentaries. Jay is also co-founder of Gendered Intelligence, an arts-based organisation that delivers projects to create debate and explore gender in creative ways. As part of some of the projects run at Gendered Intelligence he has made several documentaries such as The Sci:dentity Project (2007) and Gender Variance in Primary School (2008). He also convenes the annual Trans Community Conference.

Jay Stewart facilitates film making projects to community groups as well as tutoring and lecturing on various undergraduate and postgraduate units, including BA (Hons) Drama, Applied Theatre and Education, MA Applied Theatre (Drama in the Community and Drama Education), MA Acting for Screen at Central School of Speech and Drama, University of London and BA (Hons) Fine Art, Central St. Martins. Jay also currently convenes "Kleinkunst" a series of evenings that platforms papers, performances and critical debate on “low art” short performances in variety shows, vaudeville, cabaret, burlesque and other neo and hybrid forms. This is funded by the Centre for Excellence in Training for Theatre at Central School of Speech and Drama and is hosted by the Roundhouse.

Gendered Intelligence website

Danae Theodoridou

Danae Theodoridou was born in Greece in 1978. She studied Greek Philology and Linguistics at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki where she also completed her MA studies in Historical and Balkan Linguistics. She also studied acting at the Drama School of the National Theatre of Northern Greece and worked as an actress in theatre, cinema and television. Danae is currently a PhD candidate at Roehampton University, London. Her research is practice-led and considers the dramaturgical structures and affect of contemporary narratives within experimental theatre, mainly by focusing on aspects and notions related to fragmented poetics, voice and authority, theatricality, representation, performative writing and the spectator’s reception. Since 2008 she has been creating and presenting solo works and writings in UK, Greece and elsewhere, as well as collaborative works with the Athens-based 'Company 5' of whom she is also a founding member.