Performing Collaboration in Solo Performance (Book)

A Duet Without You and Practice as Research

Edited by Chloé Déchery

This book will entail the full-length performance score of A Duet Without You, an original piece of collaboratively devised theatre initiated, led and created by performance artist and scholar Chloé Déchery between 2013 and 2016. The book will also include a series of essays and critical responses written by leading theorists and theatre-makers as well as a template performance score that will be designed for anyone willing to re-interpret the original score and perform their own version of A Duet Without You.

Category: Performing Arts
Series: Playtext


This book provides an investigation grounded into performance practice and practice-as-research methodology on the issues of authorship and collaborative labour in a world more and more characterized by fragmentation, displacement and virtual communication and relationships. It addresses and playfully engages with the following questions: what is a collaborative body? How can one sole performer enact and convey a collaborative practice? How can one body on stage carry out several voices at once? Can we stand in for others? How do we maintain a sense of 'being-together' while being alone in a room?

The book will entail the full-length definitive version of the performance score from A Duet Without You, an original performance piece created between 2013-2015 by Chloé Déchery in collaboration with a range of high-profile artistic collaborators working inter- and cross-disciplinary, including Karen Christopher (Goat Island), Michael Pinchbeck, Deborah Pearson (Forest Fringe), Simone Kenyon and Pedro Ins. Alongside the original performance scores, there will be a collection of complementary essays, ranging from performative responses and co-authored articles (such as letter-writing) to in-depth theoretical essays, written by a selection of pre-eminent writers, artists and academics including Laura Cull (Senior Lecturer in Theatre Studies, University of Surrey), Clare Finburgh (Senior Lecturer in Theatre Studies, University of Kent), Michael Pinchbeck (Lecturer in Theatre Studies, Manchester Metropolitan University), Diana Diaman (Exeunt, Ph.D student in Theatre Studies, Royal Holloway University) and Mary Paterson.

Chloé Déchery is a lecturer in theatre and performance studies at Paris 8 University in Denis, France. She has a doctorate in drama and performance studies from the University of Nanterre in France. She was granted her Ph.D on Everyday Corporality, Bodies on Stage in Contemporary Performance in France and England, 1991-2011 with the highest distinctions and awarded a bursary towards the publication of her thesis. Her research interests include everyday corporeality and embodiment in contemporary performance, experimental theatre and choreography in Europe (France, UK, Belg.); devising processes, collaborative practices, co-authorship and 'dramaturgy without a dramaturge'; autobiographical performance practices; labour, value and performance in the neo-liberal era as well as performance re-enactment, archive and History. Chloé Déchery has a particular interest in practice-as-research and areas of intersection and cross-pollination between artistic practice, experimental performance, innovative pedagogy and scholarly enquiry.
She is the co-leader of the practice research project 'Performer les savoirs/Performing Knowledge'(2018-2020), an international and interdisciplinary curatorial and scientific platform that seeks out to consider contemporary performance as a unique space/event that produces specific thought-process and informs new forms of knowledge – whether embodied, kinetic or affective.
Chloé Déchery has extensive experience in teaching in Higher Education, both in the UK (Queen Mary, Goldsmith, Royal Central School of Speech and Drama) and in France (Ecole Normale Supérieure-Ulm, Nanterre University). Between 2013 and 2015, she worked as a Lecturer in Theatre and Performance Studies at the University of Surrey.
Chloé Déchery is a writer, theatre-maker and performer who works in the UK, France and Australia, developing experimental hybrid performance work since 2007. Over the years, Chloé Déchery has created a range of performance works for theatres and public spaces, using a combination of storytelling and fragmented narratives, anthropological & philosophical observations, task-based choreography, video footage and found objects. With her work, she likes to blur the frontiers between fact and fiction, the everyday and the autobiographical while playfully deconstructing the mechanics of theatrical representation; interrogating what we see and what remains hidden from us. She is currently supported by a network of international venues towards the making of her next research-led performance, Première (Studio-théâtre Vitry and the 104 in Paris, France; Critical Path in Sydney, Australia). 
  1. A Foreword by senior lecturer Laura Cull 
  2. Dialogic examination of Situated Dramaturgy and Practice-as-Research by Chloé Déchery and Michael Pinchbeck 
  3. A Duet Without You, by Chloé Déchery, in collaboration with Pedro Ines, Simone Kenyon, Deborah Pearson and Tom Parkinson 
  4. A Duet Without You, a template and instruction-led performance score, by Chloé Déchery 
  5. 'An Invitation to Dance – Chloé Déchery’s A Duet Without You', by Mary Paterson 
  6. 'On Duets and Duets without a partner', by Karen Christopher 
  7. Letter-writing on A Duet Without You with Diana Diaman
  8. 'On Marguerite Duras and A Duet Without You', by Clare Finburgh
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