“You want to be authentic to the bones and the spirit of [the original], and you also want to embrace the approximations…the things that change,” says Patricia Lent of Merce Cunningham Trust, an experienced restager. Lent, along with theater-maker Richard Schechner, video/installation artist Sharon Hayes, and UC Berkeley professor and moderator Shannon Jackson, here explores the difficulties of recreating works of performance, and how the terms used to describe such acts—restaging, reconstructing, reenacting—vary across disciplines. Also addressed in this lively conversation are such topics as the singularity of the performer, the economics of copying, the embodiment of artistic practice, and the tyranny of the archive.
This event “Again, in another time and place: A conversation on reconstruction, restaging, and reenactment” was produced by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage and presented at FringeArts in Philadelphia, on October 5, 2013. That same weekend, with Center funding, Lucinda Childs re-presented a half-dozen of her early dance works.