Experiencing Connection: Bridging the Gap in Interpersonal Exchanges on Stage

Bridging the Gap in Interpersonal Exchanges on Stage


  • Elien Hanselaer Queen's University Belfast


This article presents interdisciplinary practical research focused on co-performer connection, which refers to the deeply gratifying sensation derived from a profound interpersonal exchange between performers. While several performing arts practitioners, such as Stanislavski (1937/2008), Nachmanovitch (1990) and Zarrilli (2009), have attempted to unravel what co-performer connection exactly is and how performers can achieve it, there are still an abundance of theories regarding how to achieve it, with a myriad of names associated with this phenomenon. Drawing on interdisciplinary practical as well as theoretical research, this article contends that co-performer connection happens indirectly through active engagement with the evolving performance. Following this statement, it redefines the functioning of co-performer connection as a responding to the game of the third space. Furthermore, by drawing a parallel between my redefinition and the ideas of philosopher Leo Apostel, the article argues that dedicated interaction with the performance-in-progress is spiritual in nature and can therefore evoke a spiritually transformative experience. 


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