Autopoeisis of Performance and ‘mutual mutation’ of Identity in Derek Walcott’s Pantomime



Performance often grows out of (in) fidelity to the dramatic text; existing in tenuous relation with the text, it floats free of the mooring of the ante- text to produce other theatrical idioms and other gestures. As a post-linear playtext, Derek Walcott’s masterpiece Pantomime unleashes ‘(re)action’ to Western ideological constructs, its dominant conventions and aesthetics.”, This essay attempts to read how this off-stage, rehearsal piece allows each participant to bring his cultural voice and mounts challenge to the primacy of the text and locus of power. In ‘creating their ``own text’ the notion of theatre as single identifiable cultural product is destabilized. Suffused with ‘creole’ energy, its creative plurivocal performance repeatedly dismantles the conventional theatrical apparatus to become ‘more manifestation than signification’.

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