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Introduction to Part Four

ByPetra Kuppers, Gwen Robertson

This part introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters. The part presents writings that put community performances within the realm of embodied experience. It provides a perspective on alternative forms of politics in shared ritual, and shows folk-forms and healing practices as aspects of community performance work. The part addresses an aesthetic of accommodation and inclusion by discussing the working methods and assumptions of the ‘Actual Lives’ projects in Austin, Texas and Tallahassee, Florida. It examines contact improvisation as an art, folk and community practice shows how new ways of thinking about performance aesthetic can open up avenues to challenge and expand mainstream aesthetics. Bodily being – located in specific sites, institutions, ways of thinking and ways of knowing – is the material out of which community performance shapes itself.