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A Strange Proximity: Stage Presence, Failure, and the Ethics of Attention

Jon Foley Sherman (Franklin & Marshall College, USA) Jon Foley Sherman



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14 April 2016
Theatre Studies; Dance & Performing arts
What happens in the relationship between audience and performer? What choices are made in the space of performance about how we attend to others?

A Strange Proximity examines stage presence as key to thinking about performance and ethics. It is the first phenomenological account of ethics generated from, rather than applied to, contemporary theatrical productions.

The ethical possibilities of the stage, argues Jon Foley Sherman, rest not so much in its objects-the performers and the show itself-as in the how of attending to others. A Strange Proximity is a unique perspective on the implications of attention in performance.
By:   Jon Foley Sherman (Franklin & Marshall College USA), Jon Foley Sherman
Imprint:   Routledge
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 235mm,  Width: 159mm,  Spine: 25mm
Weight:   295g
ISBN:   9781138907775
ISBN 10:   1138907774
Pages:   186
Publication Date:   14 April 2016
Audience:   College/higher education ,  Professional and scholarly ,  Further / Higher Education ,  A / AS level
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active
List of Figures Acknowledgements Preface 1. May I Have Your Attention 2. Mimicry and the Urgency of Differences 3. A Unique Phenomenon of Distance 4. Disorienting 5. The Ground of Ethical Failure Bibliography Index

Jon Foley Sherman is a teacher, scholar, performer, and director. He is co-editor of Performance and Phenomenology (Routledge 2015), and his articles have apeared in Performance Research, New Theatre Quarterly, and Theatre Topics. An award-winning actor and deviser, he has performed in Chicago, New York, Switzerland, and Washington, DC.

Reviews for A Strange Proximity: Stage Presence, Failure, and the Ethics of Attention

A powerful meditation on performance, attention, and the ethical claims inherent in both. Foley Sherman, who wears the mantle scholar-performer as well as anyone, is a master at navigating the difficult terrains of performance theory, phenomenology, and the work of philosophers such as Jacques Ranciere. His insights into how we attend to others and why this matters to performance are provocative and deeply original. As a study of theater's elusive presence and all that comprises it, this book stands with the best work in contemporary performance analysis. As a demonstration of how phenomenology can illuminate theater's 'strange proximities,' it is unrivaled. Stanton B. Garner, Jr., University of Tennessee Jon Foley Sherman's book is not only a must-read for any scholar interested in a rich and provocative approach to the poetics of perception, but also a necessary book for any practitioner in the field of theatre who is willing to question the deepest roots of his or her existence as an artist and as a human being. Thomas Prattki, Founder and Director, London International School of Performing Arts An illuminating and rigorous exploration of how a phenomenology inspired in equal measure by the writing of Maurice Merleau-Ponty and the teaching of Jacques Lecoq might offer a description of the practice of theatre as a paradigmatic mode of social perception. The ethics of attention Foley Sherman elaborates here invites us to enrich our experience of theatre by attending to how it unfolds between us as a source of both trouble and wonder. It is a thoughtful, personal, and original contribution to performance philosophy. Nicholas Ridout, Professor of Theatre, Department of Drama, Queen Mary University of London

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