Performance Research Volume 24 Issue 2

On Mountains

Issue editors: Jonathan Pitches & David Shearing

ISSN: 1352-8165 (2019) 24:2

Mountains are places of ‘great cultural importance’, geographer Martin Price has observed. They are constantly being shaped by human hands, sometimes benignly and sometimes with permanent malignance. Culture plays an integral part in this process and has done for centuries, producing an extraordinarily varied gallery of mountain performances. On Mountainsdocuments some of this history. It explores how performance practice is making sense of mountains, celebrating the range of approaches being mobilized to do this thinking: from practice-research and phenomenological enquiry, to historiography, gender studies and performance analysis, and, in the case of a clutch of articles, wild speculation and thought experimentation. In artist pages, discursive writing and richly illustrated photo essays, this issue centres on performance makers’ and scholars’ capacity to reflect on, intervene in and translate the complexity of mountain environments, drawing on vivid examples from India, China, the UK, the United States and Europe.

Introduction : On Mountains

Jonathan Pitches

pp. 1 - 7

Found Constraints and Followed Contours : The Barkley Marathons

Curt Cloninger

pp. 8 - 15

A Mountain as Multiverse : Circumnavigating the realities and meta-realities of a Kailas pilgrim

Simon Piasecki

pp. 16 - 23

Searching for the Perfect Welsh Mountain : A performance of tactical absurdity

Dave Ball

pp. 24 - 31

Into the Mountain [artist’s pages]

Simon Kenyon

pp. 32 - 35

Black Rock : Routes through scenographic translation, from mountain climbing to performance

David Shearing

pp. 36 - 44

Peaceful Waters [artists’ pages]

Deborah Norris, Jeremy Ward

pp. 45 - 48

Naming (and Claiming) Vertical Territories

Kate Lawrence

pp. 49 - 56


Alec Finlay

pp. 57 - 57

Performing Mountains

Harriet Fraser, Rob Fraser

pp. 58 - 62

Performing Socialism at Altitude : Chinese expeditions to Mount Everest, 1958–1968

Maggie Greene

pp. 63 - 72

Healing the Mountain’s Wounds : Reflections on two Chinese site-specific mountain performances

Shi Ke

pp. 73 - 76

Articulating Mountains Through Mofussil Aesthetics : A study of operatic theatre tradition in India


pp. 77 - 84

Landslide from Ben Bulben : Mountain activism and the Irish abortion referendum

Evelyn O'Malley

pp. 85 - 88

#NeverLeaveTheDogBehind : How climbers’ dogs perform mountain landscapes

Helen Mort

pp. 89 - 95

Looking at Malla / Steaming Earth

Annette Arlander

pp. 96 - 99

Picturesque Lost : Martin Conway’s experimental travels into geography

William Bainbridge

pp. 100 - 108

Dorothy Wordsworth and her Female Contemporaries’ Legacy : A feminine ‘material’ sublime approach to the creation of walking-performance in mountainous landscapes

Louise Ann Wilson

pp. 109 - 119

Figure with Landscape : A scenographer walks

Susannah Henry

pp. 120 - 128

Notes on Contributors

pp. 129 - 130