Society’s treatment of masculinity as evidenced in the work of Lloyd Newson
University of Wales Institute Cardiff
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This dissertation primarily focuses upon society’s treatment of masculinity as evidenced in the work of Lloyd Newson, director of DV8 Physical Theatre Company. In order for the research topic to be explored effectively, previous critical research was selected and analysed on a variety of related subject matters, including: post-modernism and the role of the spectator; intertextuality and the position of the author; DV8 and expressionism and the evolution of a new dance/drama genre known as 'physical theatre' (Watson, 1995, p.2). The issue of masculinity within contemporary western society is the main theoretical focus of the study. This theoretical framework is applied to Newson’s work. A case study of DV8’s 1995 work Enter Achilles provides an in-depth insight into 'everyday maleness' and the failure that 'lurks behind the veneer of straight and solid masculinity' (Petrovic, pp.1 - 2). As the study is essentially a review of existing literature a qualitative approach was adopted. The main conclusions of the research can be summarised as follows, firstly, Lloyd Newson, as an openly homosexual choreographer, effectively 'challenges and disrupts the ways in which gender is conventionally represented', revealing 'hidden aspects of the construction of masculine identity' in the process (Burt, 1995, pp.8 – 198). By adopting the genre of physical theatre and creating works such as that of Enter Achilles (1995), Newson is able to convey the complexity of relationships (in this case of a primarily heterosexual nature) and provoke the audience to question why non-conformity produces so much loathing and fear within western society today (Newson, 2005, p.1).
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