Shifting sands:
: critical reflection

  • Caroline Melia

Student thesis: Master's ThesisMaster of Arts


Shifting Sands Summary.
In Shifting Sands, I was examining how historical fact and myth combine forming stories on the boundary of truth and fiction. The performance itself took place as a site-specific, hour long performance, with ritualistic, historical and fictional elements. The purpose of these individual elements was for them to merge and create a space where the lines between the past and present, myth and reality were unclear and fluid. I tried to reflect these themes in the text of the performance. There was poetry which focused on animal imagery including transformation, an important theme in myth. There were also passages reflecting the merging of myth and reality, specifically the myth of ‘The Bells of Aberdovey’. The physical elements of the piece relied on ritualistic practice, leading the audience to the space in a procession, giving the audience simple tasks to add an element of participation and repeating a set of movements at key times in order to mark the time and space of the performance.
Critical Reflection Summary.
In the critical reflection I have concentrated on my decisions regarding the textual element of my performance and the complications that resulted from the location I chose for the performance. There is a detailed explanation of how I arrived at the scripted and textual elements of the production. I have also attempted to explain and justify my decisions during the performance process and the performance itself, including discussion of the challenges I faced from making those decisions. Included are some of my own personal reflections on the performance and the effect the condition of the text and site had on me, while trying to avoided anecdotal stories. I have outlined some of the key concepts surround my performance including the ideas of cultural memory, mythic truth and site-specific work
Date of Award2010
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Aberystwyth University

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