Performance Design Projects

Performance Design gathers a variety of projects: From practice-based bachelor projects, theoretical analysis, to master thesises, ph.d.-projects and research projects carried out by the academic staff. Below you can read about a few of them.


Iben Sophie Bredholt: Creating space for encounters in urban space. Master thesis, Performance Design, Roskilde University 2019

This thesis examines the potential of participatory artistic practices as staged interventions, in order to influence social interactions and the emergence of collective action in the urban space. It is my intention throughout this thesis to emphasize how the analytical focus on relational social and aesthetic processes can reveal important insights into how collective meaning emerge in creative processes. Furthermore the role of art in relation to participatory practices is reviewed with critical perspectives on the culture of participation. The thesis revolves around an interactive sound installation, which I have developed and exhibited in the urban space in collaboration with electrical engineers and designers.

Udstilling af Samklang (2018). Foto: Kristine Samson.

The installation consisted of sculptural constructions build from materials found in the urban space, with attached contact microphones. On the day of the exhibition the participants were invited to explore the sound of the different objects by interacting with them. The purpose of using objects found in the urban space was to stage a situation, where everyone had equal opportunities in exploring and sensing the materiality of the urban space in the form of sound with any level of musical experience. Thereby the intention was to enhance the participants’ perception of creating a soundscape as a collective action in the urban space. During the exhibition, the participants’ interactions and sensuous experience with the installation was investigated using ethnographic documentation methods. These insights have been analysed in order to review the aesthetic and socially transformative potential of the installation as a prototype.

an encounter

Subsequently insights from the design process and exhibition of the installation have been evaluated for the further development of conceptual guidelines for a ”participant based sound art concept”, which has the potential of being explored further in other urban areas. The main intention with this participatory concept is then to inspire more people to reflect on the meaning of collective action, because I believe it is an important topic in today’s society.

Michella Kjøller Petersen, Cecilie Nadine Glarborg, Theis Johansson, Regine-Ellen Dora Møller, Saskia van Dam Joensen: “A new perspective on pole dance”. Semester project in Performance Design, Roskilde University, Autumn 2018.


This study aims at investigating how to create a new perspective on pole dance for men in Denmark through affective means and staging of bodily and visual performance. The majority of pole performers are women, and women are dominating the media coverage of pole dance through videos and pictures. Fieldwork consisting of interviews of male and female pole performers has shed light on the different aspects of pole dance such as pole fitness, which require bodily strength and flexibility to perform dance and acrobatics.

The group participated in a polefitness workshop to learn and have an embodied understanding of the pole fitness.

By using theories with relevance to affect, embodied experience, creating of atmospheres, and transformation, this study will create and present a video highlighting the fitness aspect of pole dance by using male pole performers. The video will be shown to a male audience in order to analyze to which extend their perspective of pole dance has changed, and ultimately the video will contribute to creating examples of male pole performers. The study concludes that a video demonstrating the fitness aspect of pole dance using bodily and visual performance of male performers has a potential to transform how pole dance is viewed.

Maria Holm Nielsen & Trine Tind Hugger: Vejen til formidling på Middelgrundsfortet. En undersøgelse af atmosfærer og deres betydning for det stedspecifikke. Kandidatprojekt. Performance Design, Efterår 2018.

Gennem et samarbejde med Middelgrundsfonden har vi arbejdet med et formidlingsdesign, der vil blive implementeret på Middelgrundsfortet, der i foråret 2019 åbner som Ungdommens Ø. Ungdommens Ø vil være et sted, hvor unge får en unik platform, hvor de selv er med til at skabe dens aktiviteter.

Der er gennem fire eksperimenter blevet foretaget en række undersøge af forskellige sanselige virkemidler i en formidlingskontekst. De fire virkemidler er lys, lyd, deltagelse og en museal udstilling. De fire eksperimenter er blevet opstillet på baggrund af vores egen oplevelse og undersøgelser af atmosfærer på Middelgrundsfortet. For at undersøge virkemidlernes indflydelse på formidling, er der blevet eksperimenteret med, hvordan de forskellige virkemidler påvirker en gruppe deltagere i Middelgrundsfortets målgruppe, som er 15-25 år. Eksperimenterne er blevet behandlet fra forskellige vinkler med et fokus på den museale kontekst, deltagelse, stedets betydning og atmosfærer i et tilstedeværende og foranderligt perspektiv. Dette har mundet ud i tre konkrete formidlingsdesigns. Disse formidlingsdesigns er blevet godkendt af kulturstyrrelsen, hvilket betyder, at man i løbet af 2019 kan opleve disse. Her vil man kunne skrive sin egen graffiti, ud fra hvad de tidligere soldater har skrevet, man kan udstille egne genstande ved siden af genstande fundet på fortet, og man kan opleve en interaktiv installation bestående af lys- og lyd elementer. Projektet ønsker hermed at formidle den bid Danmarkshistorie, som fortet udgør, på en anderledes og inddragende måde.

Normen Dommann: How does one learn to listen with one’s eyes? An approach. Master Thesis, Performance Design, Roskilde University, 2018.

This inquiry introduces the field of performance design as a critical and multiparadigmatic analysis-tool and hybrid practice. By sketching out considerable shifts in the historical development of scenography, I intend to highlight, how theatre practitioners became aware of scenography’s potential to complement scopic experience, and draw attention to the ways in which ‘the affective and multi-sensorial nature of scenographic imagery can generate an understanding that is founded in the ‘sensual, emotional and aesthetic responses on the part of the viewer. 1) Through a case study of Reddit’s 2017 April Fools’ Day experiment r/Place I intend to put a selection of scenographic strategies into practice and analyze the role my own body’s sensory, affective, and more-than-cognitive responses play in the reception of r/Place.

Screen shot of Reddit’s r/Place

In accordance with the title of this inquiry, I am bringing in Gilles Deleuze (1925-1995) and Félix Guattari’s (1930 – 1992) notion of the plateau and their remarks on perceptual semiotics to further elaborate on connotations of spacing. 2) in postdramatic theatre practices. With Zarathustra’s introductory aphorism in mind, I intend to pry open philosophers, Deleuze and Guattari’s clever synonyms, to gain an understanding of the logically and visually hard to comprehend task to listen with one’s eyes instead with one’s ears, an undertaking which palpably resonates with a series of considerations postdramatic theatre practitioners reflected about. As longtime creative artist and autodidact musician, I became more than thrilled to take up the challenge to read A Thousand Plateaus (1987) as if I were listening to a record. 3) A speculative and pragmatic reading of Deleuze and Guattari shall thus enable me to further expand and relay the uprooted performative potential of r/Place to my individual practice as a composer of electronic music in the Digital Audio Working station Ableton Live.

Linh Le Tuyet: Et øjebliks singularitet: Undersøgelse af dansen som frigørende i det urbane rum gennem butoh-inspireret dans / One moment of singularity: An Exploration of dance as liberating in public space through butoh-inspired dance. Master Thesis, Performance Design, Roskilde University 2018.

Performer Linh Le and Peter Vadim in the butoh-inspired performance in which they crossed Knippelsbro Bridge in Copenhagen on a cold day in January.

In my thesis, I explore the potential of dance as liberating in correlation with the human relationship to urban spaces. Along with two other performers, I explore the city of Copenhagen through a butoh-inspired performance. Butoh is a Japanese dance form dating back to the 1950s, composed of elements moving hyper-slowly and abandoning the self: meaning moving away from the normative ideas of being a human and instead transforming oneself into one’s unconscious self. Drawing elements from butoh, I search to awaken my unconscious self and to move hyper-slowly in order to explore what emerges in my meeting with the city and in the situated. I am concerned with the following matters: Is it possible to undo the choreographed life and change the refrain through butoh-inspired dance? Most importantly: Henceforth, how can we practice in moving freely?

My approach to the field is viewed from a phenomenological perspective defined respectively by Edmund Husserl and Maurice Merleau-Ponty, with the notion that the relation between subject and the world is closely knitted. Alongside this rationality, I use autoethnography as my method when inhabiting the world and exploring movement and the multisensory environment.

In my analysis, I explore when and how I experience the urban space of Copenhagen as liberating or constrained when performing throughout the city through butoh-inspired dance.

I draw theories about dance as affirmative and liberating. Here, I refer to theories from dance theoretician André Lepecki’s ideas about the potential of dance as a singularity, and its potential to break free from the conditioned and choreographed life. As a supplement to Lepecki’s theories, I discuss Erin Manning’s theory about pre-acceleration and the potential in movement before actualization of the movement itself.  Furthermore, I discuss the body’s capacity as power and possibility.

In conclusion, I determine that the immense potential in dance lies within bodies’ capacity to not only get affected but also affect other bodies and produce new refrains for everyday practices, movements, and experiences.



Maria Blichfeldt: Drømme om livet på landet. Tværfagligt specialeprojekt på Performance Design og Plan, By Process 2017.

I specialet har jeg undersøgt fem københavnere i midt-tyverne til midt-tredivernes længsler og drømme om at flytte fra København til landet. Sammen med informanterne udforskede jeg deres drømme i nogle omgivelser, der på den ene eller anden vis repræsenterede udflytterdrømmene. Dette førte mig på rejser ud til fem forskellige steder i landet: til instantkaffe i et motorcykelværksted i Nordhavnen, på besøg i et lille hjem i Vanløse, til middag med frikadeller og kartofler på Sydals, på gåtur i Søndermarken og roadtrip til Møn.

Gennem disse møder fandt jeg frem til, at der i informanternes perception eksisterede store forskelle mellem livet på landet versus byen. Fælles for drømmerne var, at de længtes efter at leve livet i et langsommere tempo, være mere i forbindelse med naturen og indgå i nære fællesskaber.

Landlivet blev netop opfattet som roligt, naturligt og idyllisk. Bylivet blev modsat opfattet med travlhed, mangel på tid, et højt forbrug og mistet forbindelse til fødevarer og håndværk.

Det viste sig imidlertidig at informanterne allerede udlevede store dele af deres drømme i byen, ved at bringe “rurale” elementer ind i det “urbane”. Elementer der traditionelt blev forbundet med landet, blev taget ind i byen, og således udviskedes grænserne mellem by og land, hvorfor man kan stille spørgsmål til om forskellene er så store, som vi forestiller os. Derimod er det vores kulturelle forståelser der tilskriver steder, objektiver og aktiviteter mening. For eksempel blev en roemark af københavneren opfattet som skøn og dejlig natur – hvorimod landmanden nok vil se på roemarken og tænke kapital, arbejde og muligvis dertil relateret stress – noget af det, københavnerne drømmer om at flytte/flygte fra.