Water matters: TUG onboard and TUG footpath

Research output: Contributions to journalsArticlepeer-review



This article uses Dog Kennel Hill Project’s contemporary dance performance TUG as a case study to explore waterways as sites for performance and to consider performances on water in relation to: the specificity of water as a material, the mode of mobility in performance, the live event as a transitory experience and an intimate encounter. This article offers an analysis of the two separate audience experiences of TUG performed on a narrow boat on Watford Canal, exploring materiality and proximity through Gaston Bachelard’s ideas about the ‘intimacy’ of water explicated in Water and Dreams. The onboard version is performed for a small audience seated on the boat, while the footpath version involves participants walking alongside the boat via the towpath while listening to an audio-guide. This article will discuss the role the water plays in both of these experiences. This analysis will consider recent performance practices that engage with mobility, water and boats and argues that water in performance matters and that live performance sited on water can evoke a unique, intimate and transitory experience.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177-190
Number of pages13
JournalStudies in Theatre and Performance
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished or Performed - 7 Apr 2016