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Title: The female bouffon
Author: Ovalioglu, Nilufer
ISNI:       0000 0004 2697 6263
Awarding Body: Brunel University
Current Institution: Brunel University
Date of Award: 2010
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This dissertation examines the notion of the female in performance, the latter term applying to occasions that are outside as well as within theatrical venues. I attempt to address the complex and mutually entailed interrelation between the 'normative' as it has, and continues to, govern female behaviour, and those manifestations deemed transgressive of these in some respect. I seek to postulate a conception of the performing female as a phenomenon which owes its force to the presence of both polarities. My preferred term for such a figure is the female bouffon, and after a preliminary definition of associated terms, I discuss the carnivalesque, socially licenced occasions of 'misrule' in pre-modern societies, where norms were temporarily suspended to permit women to 'make a spectacle of themselves'. Some contemporary parallels are furnished. I then address the larger and more discursive issues of the reflexive and self-applied norms of proper female conduct as offered and justified by industrial, scientifically authorized societies. From the above, I turn to the extraordinary creative ferment of the turn of the twentieth century, which witnessed the rebellious re-institution of older performance genres as well as the invention of new ones. I then discuss the associated theatrical theorizing that accompanied this era. After a detailed examination of the work of two contemporary practitioners, who, I consider, gather together past and present themes of bouffonerie in a compelling way, I give examples of my own performance practice, and some analysis of its reciprocal relation with an audience. I conclude with some speculative thoughts as to the future of the bouffonesque female performer.
Supervisor: Broadhurst, S. M. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Grotesque ; Performance ; Women's studies ; Theatre ; Contemporary art