The Embodied Practitioner: Towards A Decolonised Cross-Cultural Performance Practice Within A Glocal Singapore Context

De Roza, Elizabeth. 2020. The Embodied Practitioner: Towards A Decolonised Cross-Cultural Performance Practice Within A Glocal Singapore Context. Doctoral thesis, Goldsmiths, University of London [Thesis]

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Abstract or Description

This thesis proposes an embodied performance practice that is simultaneously decolonised and cross-cultural. It articulates the dynamics of cross-cultural interaction between/within/in-between the multiplicities of cultural memory, moving beyond an east-west binary and instead embedding itself in the multi-cultural heritage of a postcolonial Singapore female other/ed body.

I will engage in an embodied practice research methodology to articulate how the contemporary post-colonial performance body is shaped by the layers of cross-cultural considerations and concerns. Through the research, I will explore how embodied memory and history is buried deep within the individual and responds to cultural context. The research attempts to formulate and articulate a decolonised cross-cultural performance methodology specific to my own practice as a female Singaporean Eurasian performance maker.

My research is onto-epistemological, as the focus is on the body as the material, and employs an embodied research methodology. The research is interwoven with an intersection of theoretical frameworks from phenomenology into somaesthetics, and includes both postcolonial and feminist theories, furthering the debate on cross-culturalism. I also propose that my methodology of soft fireworks can contribute to the emerging field of embodied research and is relevant to the current debate on cross-cultural performance practice. I have introduced bodycultures in my research, to recognise how the socio-cultural body influences the performing body, and that this affects how a postcolonial female other/ed body is perceived and received on stage.

To articulate the emerging field of embodied research, I have chosen to engage in a practice that combines the frameworks of kalaripayyatu (an ancient South Indian martial arts) as a pre-preparatory tool for the rehearsal process, and an amalgamation of cross-cultural performance practices I have termed soft fireworks. Through these practices I devised two new cross-cultural collaborative performances: a duet entitled Landscaping a Personal Myth, and a solo performative mediation entitled Landscapes of Memories. Through this embodied research and emerging cross-cultural performance methodology, I hope to contribute to the scholarship around decolonising cross-cultural performance practice within a glocal1 Singapore context.

Item Type:

Thesis (Doctoral)

Identification Number (DOI):


Cross-cultural, performance practice, post-colonial, feminist, decolonised, embodied practice research methodology, socio-cultural body, kalaripayattu, soft fireworks, bodycultures, cultural gazing, embodiment, somaesthetics, phenomenology, Singapore, Eurasian, other/s

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Theatre and Performance (TAP)


30 April 2020

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

11 Jun 2021 11:54

Last Modified:

31 Mar 2023 01:26


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