Intervocal figures: a classed and queered voicing-dancer in Instant Composition

Conference paper


Vesty, R. 2023. Intervocal figures: a classed and queered voicing-dancer in Instant Composition. Class Concerns: Theatre, Performance and Cultural Policy in the UK. Glasgow, UK 05 - 07 Sep 2023
TypeConference paper
TitleIntervocal figures: a classed and queered voicing-dancer in Instant Composition
AuthorsVesty, R.
Abstract

This paper uses the idea of ‘intervocality’ (Cahill and Hamel) with reference to a voicing-dancing figure to examine how acts of voicing are shaped and re-shaped in the context of improvisatory dance-based performance. Drawing on my practice-led research in Instant Composition (IC), I will explore voicing as a series of movement events performed in multiple registers that are ever-shifting according to socially and culturally constructed identities. Voicings are performed by bodies that are never abstract but always in material co-production — embedded in, yet unfixed by complex gendered, physiological, and ideological histories and subjectivities (Thomaidis). Firstly, I want to consider how ‘intervocality’ might usefully reveal the voicing-dancing figure as differentiated from the improvising actor. Unlike ‘theatre improv’ where the effort to take on characters in scenario-based structures often demands an audible marking of vocal transformation that occupies fictional space, in IC, when improvisers produce vocal material as part of their instantly composed choreography, there is quite often a ‘characterless’ (Delgado-García) quality to the vocal conjuring that calls into question the very issue of transformation. Arguably, the voicing-dancing figure occupies an autobiographical space where intervocalities are revealed in particular ways. Secondly, I am curious about how such considerations might usefully interrogate issues of class and queerness within an intersectional frame of identity. Both as an academic and improviser, I speak through myriad intervocal transfigurations, having passed through a working-class upbringing towards more middle-class destinations. My ever-changing 50-year-old voice also resonates with the embedded echoes of my pasts - my child’s voice and its broad (Lancashire) tones, my teenage estuary (Essex) accent, my adult (acting-schooled) Received Pronunciation and all the while shaped by a confidence infused by queer anxiety and class-based uprootedness (Hoggart). This paper therefore takes account of intervocality as a volatile and mercurial feature of classed and queered revelatory processes that has implications for how a voicing-dancing figure might be (re)considered within the context of IC.

KeywordsIntervocality; class; queerness; improvisation; instant composition
Sustainable Development Goals11 Sustainable cities and communities
Middlesex University ThemeCreativity, Culture & Enterprise
LanguageEnglish
ConferenceClass Concerns: Theatre, Performance and Cultural Policy in the UK
Publication process dates
Completed07 Sep 2023
Deposited22 Feb 2024
Output statusPublished
Publisher's version
File Access Level
Open
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https://repository.mdx.ac.uk/item/z9814

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