Practice as Research in Performance
Introduction | Context | Aims and Objectives
Project Development | Outcomes | Project Management
PARIP Practice as Research in Performance was a five-year project directed by Professor Baz Kershaw and the Department of Drama: Theatre, Film, Television at the University of Bristol. It is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Board . From January 2001-February 2005 Dr Angela Piccini and Dr Caroline Rye were the project's post-doctoral research associates and were responsible for the day-to-day running of the project. Dr Ludivine Allegue Fuschini was the post-doctoral research associate from April 2005-September 2006. PARIP has now finished.
PARIP's objectives were to investigate creative-academic issues raised by practice as research, where performance is defined, in keeping with AHRB and RAE documentation, as performance media: theatre, dance, film, video and television. As a result of PARIP's investigations and in collaboration with colleagues, educational institutions and professional bodies throughout the UK and Europe PARIP aimed to develop national frameworks for the encouragement of the highest standards in representing practical-creative research within academic contexts.
The text that follows below is from the active period of the project and should be read as a 'history' of the project.
The pursuit of practice as research / practice-based research (PAR / PBR) has become increasingly important during the past ten years to the research cultures of the performing arts (drama, theatre, dance, music) and related disciplines involving performance media (film, video, television, radio) as the contribution of the arts and cultural industries to national health and prosperity has climbed up the political agenda. A growing number of performing arts / media departments in higher education are now offering higher degrees which place practice at the heart of their research programmes. This represents a major theoretical and methodological shift in the performance disciplines traditional approaches to the study of these arts are complemented and extended by research pursued through the practice of them.
Three interwoven strands of activity will be undertaken during the course of this project in order to address the key questions surrounding practice as research. PARIP seeks to:
In keeping with the collaborative nature of this project an advisory group has been set up to initiate debate about the various theoretical frameworks that might best inform practice and analysis. This group consisting of Christopher Bannerman (rescen, Middlesex University), John Ellis (University of London, Royal Holloway), Carol Lorac (University of London, Royal Holloway), Robin Nelson (Manchester Metropolitan University), Barry Smith (Digital Performance Archive, Nottingham Trent University) and Phillip Zarrilli (Exeter University) in addition to Bristol departmental members Baz Kershaw, John Adams, Simon Jones, Martin White, Janet Thumim, Caroline Rye and Angela Piccini is developing the critical interrogation of practice as research.
More local approaches to practice as research are being furthered by a network of local forums, coordinated by noted practitioner-researchers in the cognate fields.
PARIP's critical investigations feed into the generation of creative digital tools for the wider research network website / database / e-journal / symposia / multi-media and multi-stream materials. These will enable the development of national frameworks for improving standards by providing complementary methods for the analysis and assessment of PARIP projects.
The stated outcomes for the project include:
The Department of Drama: Theatre, Film, Television at the University of Bristol is exceptionally well placed to undertake the first major research project to focus on PAR and PBR. Both Departmental professors, Baz Kershaw and Martin White, have extensive and complementary experience of successful PAR / PBR projects and both have chaired the SCUDD working parties. Their work is augmented by the practical research of Bristol's academic staff, with work spanning drama, theatre, film, video, television and new digital technologies.