Performance Studies International  ©

Image courtesy of Curious

Performance Studies International (PSi) is a professional association of many of the world's leading contemporary performance studies experts. The association holds an annual convening in different cities around the world with public performances.

When PSi was held in Stanford, California in 2013, the British Council supported the three British artists headlining the public program: Curious, Hugo Glendinning, and Marcia Farquhar. As faculty members at Stanford University, Curious also curated the program as a whole.

PSi's use of the small 'i' demonstrates an awareness of the complexity of what it means to be international. Internationalization is not only a matter of the cultural phenomena that are the subject of study or of the world-wide expansion of one particular research paradigm, but is rather about diversification. 


Curious, formed in 1996 by Leslie Hill and Helen Paris, has produced over 40 projects in a range of disciplines, including performance, installation, publication and film. Their investigations involve intimate, personal journeys alongside public research and enquiry.

For PSi 2013, Curious presented Out of Water at dawn and dusk at Fort Funston Beach, San Francisco. Created by Helen Paris and Caroline Wright, Out of Water featured a newly commissioned sound-score by acclaimed composer Jocelyn Pook and singing by Laura Wright and Oo La Lume. Stories of endeavour, swimming, and sinking interweave with haunting music, lifeguard drills, calls for help and struggles for breath. Audience members listened to the soundscape via personal audio recording that was synchronized with their journey to the beach and the performance they discovered at the waterfront. 

Hugo Glendinning

Hugo Glendinning presented Now, Then, a filmic retrospective of 19 years of British performance, with an original score composed for live performance by John Avery. The commission featured an image-based history of performance work in Britain over the last two decades, as well as a review of Glendinning's work and his unique eye on dance, theatre, and live art as a witness and collaborator.

Presented in the newly opened Bing Concert Hall at Stanford University, Now, Then was PSi's opening plenary event, free and open to the public. 

Marcia Farquhar

Marcia Farquhar presented 10'50 (Long Haul Lecture), a durational performance lecture that took the time of a flight from London to San Francisco (10 hours and 50 minutes) as its structure and title. Drawing from the success of her 30-hour monologue performed as part of the National Review for Live Art's 30th anniversary, Farquhar again played with the boundaries of monologue and time in a way that only a truly gifted raconteur can achieve.

For 10'50, Farquhar used the specificity of the long haul flight to perform a series of stories and reflections for her international audience. In doing so, Farquhar drafts and daydreams the actual "journey between" of 10 hours and 50 minutes, from the cloud gazing to the anesthesia of meals and movies, both consciously and conscientiously.

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