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Metamorphosis of Postdramatic Theatre in the Context of Virtuality and Performativity

Piyawat Louilarpprasert
August 30, 2020 @ 9:00 am - 12:00 pm Free

In 1960s, the word “postdramatic theatre” was established to reveal human’s recognitional sensibilities during the theatrical performance which was described as “a simultaneous and multi-perspectival form of perceiving” (Lehmann, Hans-Thies: 2006, Postdramatic Theatre). In the performance situation, postdramatic theatre contains a main “plot”. The plot is, however, does not necessarily need to be followed. Since the aims of process in postdramatic theatre is concentrated mainly on the present situation and interactions between space, performers, and audience. The performers are encouraged by the situational environment to disorganize their plots or texts in order to connect to the space, audience reactions, and fellow performers’ conversations (both in action and text). Moreover, the consequences of action will be occupied by the process of “imitation/variation”, in which the main “plot” will be represented and/or modified through the ideas of ambiguity and disorientation. The idea of postdramatic theatre creates a new situation which is a part of the simultaneous circumstance and multi-perspectival form of human perception regarding the reformation of the original plot and a new situation/scene.

The idea of postdramatic theatre has been extended to several types of contemporary music theatre such as instrumental theatre, total theatre, processional theatre and technological theatre by artists/composers such as Mauricio Kagel, Dieter Schnebel, John Cage as well as later composers, Heiner Goebbels, Carola Bauckholt and Manos Tsangaris. At present, the extension of postdramatic theatre has been widely adapted with multiple possibilities of technology, for instance, virtuality and multimedia-experiences, being explored. On the one hand, technology is an exceptional weapon to construct a creative form of theatre and performance beyond the limitation of human’s recognitional sensibilities. On the other hand, metaphorically, there is a glitch that bypasses human’s awareness and sensitivity in the real-life situation which causes delusions in human’s perceptual experiences and sensibilities. From this starting point, are we to consider virtual performativity as a misapprehension of live performance, or the metamorphosis of postdramatic theatre? What is actually the true determination for humans to perceive or become aware of situational experiences through performances? What are differentiations between virtuality and reality regarding postdramatic theatrical experience?

In the Princess Galyani Vadhana International Symposium, Tacet(i) ensemble (resident ensemble) and myself will explore these ideas and questions through a panel discussion and performances of theatrical compositions with virtual process. Tacet(i) Ensemble will perform a program by composers whose works reflect the metamorphosis of postdramatic theatres. These include Maurico Kagel, Dieter Schnebel, Simon Steen-Andersen, Carola Bauckholt Manos Tsangaris and Piyawat Louilarpprasert.

Panel 1: Pamornpan Komolpamorn, Thanakarn Schofield, Noppakorn Auesirinucroch ,

Panel 2: Nikorn Sae Tang, Yossral Songkiatkul, Thanapol Setabrahmana and Anothai Nitibhon


Thailand’s leading new music ensemble, Tacet(i) is focusing on the creation of new compositions from both local and international composers, artists, as well as new works with elements of music technology, improvisatory and interdisciplinary. Tacet(i) has collaborated with numerous new artists and composers. In the past year, Tacet(i) hash performed more than 50 new works. The ensemble has been performing in festivals such as Thailand New Music and Arts Festival (TNMAS), China-ASEAN New Music Festival (China), Tesselat Collective Collaboration Project (Japan), Cornell Council of Arts (CCA, New York), Crossover Contemporary Music (Netherlands), Diffused Portrait (United Kingdom), Thailand-European Composers (Netherlands) and many more. Tacet(i) is awarded and funded by prestigious organizations and supporters such as Siam Cement Group Foundation (SCG Foundation), Thailand, Prohelvetia, Swiss Art Council (Switzerland), Princess Galyani Vadhana Institute of Music (PGVIM, Bangkok), Cornell Council of the Arts (USA), Vasinee Food Corp (USA). Recently, the ensemble was broadcasted by CNN Worlds as a part of our director, Piyawat Louilarpprasert’s exclusive interview, “Young and Gifted the series: Meet the rebel Thai composer taking music to unheard heights.

Tacet(i) was founded by a group of Thai contemporary musicians with a strong intention to lead the new music scene in Thailand, beginning in 2013. The ensemble is currently focusing on collaborative projects which involved living composers, musicians, artists, and performers. From 2014 – 2016, Tacet(i) has produced a works exploring variety of genres and themes including concert music, music and arts, electronic music, and sound installation, including “Tacet(i) Debut Concert” (College of Music Mahidol University, 2014), “CMC Experimental Sound Project No.1: Hor” (Chiangmai University, 2015), “Shuttling the Space sponsor by Japan Foundation (See-Scape Chaingmai Gallery, 2015), “Thai Composer and Music” (broadcasted nationwide, 2015), and the Tacet(i) Call for Scores 2016 (Collaboration with composers from several prestigious music institutions in Thailand: Chulalongkorn University, Kasetsart University, Rangsit University, Chiang Mai University, College of Music Mahidol University, and Princess Galyani Vadhana Institute of Music, 2016).


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