Posted by: Xhyra Graf | 19 January 2007

Model 27

The Performance Model

All creativity is performance before an audience of one’s field–the people, including peers, who judge contributions to a domain, in this

model. As such, we can borrow what is known about performance elsewhere–singing, concerts, high performing teams, leadership “performances”–

and apply such ideas in order to understand creativity. Two stances dominate such borrowings from other performance types–the

anthropological stance and the theological stance of performing. The anthropological stance during performing sees self and audience as

transmitting cultural elements, modifying other cultural elements, and raising questions about still other elements during each performance.

The performer him or herself takes an anthropologist’s stance towards the audience–seeing the flaws and benefits of their beliefs and position,

seeing their fatedness trapped as they are inside their own beliefs and traditions. The performer evokes some sort of wider human,

deeper human, wider possibilities for living, longing for deeper ways of living, from the audience. The theological stance is the performer

finding, embodying, and releasing the audience’s longing to be rid of the constraints and sufferings inherent in the human condition. The performer

draws people out of their loyalty prison of normalcy into a consciousness of how their daily consciousness imprisons them. These

two movements–the performer seeing the trapped fatedness of the audience inside the limitations of its beliefs and worldviews, and the performer

tapping into the audience’s longing to be free of the constraining trappedness of their ordinary consciousness–are part and parcel of all

creation. All creators perform, whether with equations in physics, or gestures in dance, or notes in music, or transformed student lives in

higher education, in this way (Frank, 1988; Arendt, 1985; Kelly, 1994; Lestienne, 1995; May, 1975).

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