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On the Wire: Scenographing Affect at Sillgateteatern in Gothenburg around 1800

Chapter in book
Authors Astrid von Rosen
Published in Performing Arts in Changing Societies: Opera, Dance and Theatre in European and Nordic Countries around 1800 / edited by Randi M. Selvik, Svein Gladsø and Anne Margrete Fiskvik
Pages 204-217
ISBN 978-0367243180
Publisher Routledge
Place of publication London
Publication year 2020
Published at Department of Cultural Sciences
Pages 204-217
Language en
Keywords Expanded scenography, multisensorial approaches, equilibrist performers, Sillgateteatern in Gothenburg, Patrick Alströmer
Subject categories Performing Art Studies, Art History


The chapter "On the wire" contributes to the interdisciplinary field of scenography studies. In the exploration expanded scenography is tested as a scholarly tool for accessing long gone audience experiences in multimodal situations. The chapter is published in Performing Arts in Changing Societies (Routledge 2020), a detailed exploration of genre development within the fields of dance, theatre, and opera in selected European countries during the decades before and after 1800. On the wire explores scenographic situations in and around a theatre in the European periphery, in Gothenburg, Sweden. Here the theatre at Sillgatan offered the local community theatrical entertainments partly as a permanent, public theatre, partly as an intermediate home for itinerant troupes between the 1750s and the 1830s. The chapter focuses not only on the theatre enterprise as such, but also on how historiography until now has treated a theatre from this period, with its shifting repertory and standing. As a point of departure and empiric entry gate is used the diary of one baron Patrick Alströmer. By the use of expanded scenography is developed a methodology aiming at giving insight into real audiences' long gone expectations and experiences, and how a local theatre affected the lives of individuals. How, then, can audience experiences of distinctly embodied, multisensorial and spatial features, such as dance and equilibrist performances from the years around 1800, be accessed and situated? To answer the question, the chapter explores the reciprocal encounter between bodies, spaces and experiential contexts in and beyond the theatre. The reader is also introduced to the field of expanded scenography, its key thinkers, central concepts and concerns, to argue for the relevance of this approach to performance history.

Page Manager: Webmaster|Last update: 9/11/2012

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