New Directions in Site Performance Practice: Acknowledging Climate Coloniality in Practice-Based Research


  • Melanie Kloetzel University of Calgary


In this short piece, I start to tease out the challenges of examining a field of performance that, in theory, deeply understands place but has insufficiently faced the impacts of climate coloniality on place, in part due to the fact that the field has largely been defined and developed by white researchers in the Global North. Specifically, by looking at a recent project called VINES, initiated by me and Brandy Leary, I dig into the site performance field’s investment in workshop-oriented practice-based research to consider what it might mean to intersect posthumanist research methodologies with Indigenous methodologies that emphasize relationality, reciprocity, and accountability.

Author Biography

Melanie Kloetzel, University of Calgary

Melanie Kloetzel (MFA, PhD) is a settler performance maker, scholar, and educator based in Treaty 7 territory (Moh’kinstis/Calgary). Director of the dance theatre company kloetzel&co. and co-director of the art intervention collective TRAction (which produces the Climate Art Web), Kloetzel has created films, events, workshops, and encounters that have been shared in theatre spaces, alternative venues, spaces of public assembly, and online environments across four continents. Kloetzel’s publications can be found in Dance Research JournalContemporary Theatre ReviewChoreographic Practices, New Theatre Quarterly, and the International Journal of Performance Arts and Digital Media, among others, as well as in her co-edited anthology Site Dance: Choreographers and the Lure of Alternative Spaces (2009), the co-authored (Re)Positioning Site Dance: Local Acts, Global Perspectives (2019)and the co-authored Covert: A Handbook, which are currently available from University Press of Florida, Intellect, and Triarchy Press, respectively. Kloetzel is professor of dance at the University of Calgary.