“Immersive” performances have been growing exponentially over the past fifteen years, yet the definition of the form remains elusive. While a number of scholars such as Gareth White, Adam Alston, and Josephine Machon have collated what they perceive as the overarching characteristics of immersion, these analyses have primarily been concerned with the aesthetic features of immersive performances. Despite, or perhaps because of their popularity, some recent immersive performances have prompted sector-wide concern, voiced aptly by Lyn Gardner’s question in her article “Is Immersive Theatre Growing Up or Growing Too Big, Too Quickly?”. This artist’s statement and case study will both demonstrate and explore how the development of an immersive experience, through a choreographic embodied practice, can respond to these concerns. Acknowledging the pioneering works of companies such as the Judson Church Group whose participatory performances were at the forefront of an agenda of egalitarianism, collaboration, and community (Kolb), I will outline my approaches to movement practices that embrace a decentralization of decision-making and nurture an intersubjective awareness, with the aim of developing an immersive practice that embraces respect and care as an ethic. Drawing on my own Indigenous heritage and informed by Indigenous discourses (Welch; Kimmerer), as well asphenomenology (Ahmed), this provocation and artist’s statement will offer a reframing of immersion as a dynamic, fluid, and relational process. Using examples from my own practice, I will illustrate how a choreographic approach could be used to create an inclusive immersive form.


choreography, critical theory, immersion Indigenous, intercorporeality, phenomenology

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Kritika Kultura
Department of English
School of Humanities
Ateneo de Manila University

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International Board of Editors

Jan Baetens
Faculty of Arts
Katholieke Universiteit te Leuven (Belgium)

Joel David
Professor of Cultural Studies
Inha University (South Korea)

Michael Denning
Professor of American Studies and English
Department of English
Yale University (US)

Faculty of Cultural Sciences
Universitas Gadjah Mada (Indonesia)

Regenia Gagnier
Professor of English
University of Exeter (UK)

Leela Gandhi
John Hawkes Professor of the Humanities and English
Brown University (US)

Inderpal Grewal
Professor of Women's Gender and Sexuality Studies
Professor of South Asian Studies, Ethnicity, Race and Migration Studies
Yale University (US)

Peter Horn
Professor Emeritus and Honorary Lifetime Fellow
University of Cape Town (South Africa)
Honorary Professor and Research Associate in German Studies
University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa)

Anette Horn
Professor of German Studies
University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa)

David Lloyd
Distinguished Professor of English
University of California, Riverside (US)

Bienvenido Lumbera
National Artist for Literature
Professor Emeritus
University of the Philippines

Rajeev S. Patke
Director of the Division of Humanities
Professor of Humanities
Yale NUS College (Singapore)

Vicente L. Rafael
Giovanni and Amne Costigan Endowed Professor of History
University of Washington (US)

Vaidehi Ramanathan
Department of Linguistics
University of California, Davis (US)

Temario Rivera
Professorial Lecturer
Department of Political Science
University of the Philippines

E. San Juan, Jr.
Philippines Studies Center (US)

Neferti X.M. Tadiar
Professor of Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies
Barnard College (US)
Director of the Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race
Columbia University (US)

Antony Tatlow
Honorary Professor of Drama
Trinity College Dublin (Ireland)