Performative Gestures
and the Performance of 
Takemitsu's 'Equinox for guitar'

by Fabricio Mattos

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I found more appropriate to finish this dissertation with a ‘Discussion’ rather than a ‘Conclusion’. This is because the former carries a more meaningful attitude towards the research I have carried out, and is more connected to my artistic ideals than the latter, providing the opportunity for a reconsideration of our situation as performers and what we represent. At the same time I hope this work will be helpful for those who want to deepen their knowledge on the field of music performance, and perhaps apply some practical concepts explored here in order to increase the effectiveness of non-verbal communication in their performances.

I do hope that concepts and ideas here presented will be carefully considered, discussed, and even, if necessary, denied in order to reach better performance results. Apart from subjective concepts, the information here presented regarding definition and typology of performative gestures can be directly used by any performer who is keen to explore his/her communicative possibilities. The history of the Greek/Roman and Japanese stages will have (hopefully) awaken a deeper respect for the meaning of the performing stage; once more, history has helped us to recognize how our linear approach to time sometimes causes misconceptions about the moment we are living, leading us to think that what we have today is completely new and that we are culturally at the top of some evolutionary process. As we could see, the stage belongs to our own extemporal needs as human beings and is constantly changing in its very basic structure and meaning.

It is exciting to see what can be done when one is liberated from social, political, or religious constraints imposed in relation to the stage and how to act on it; in this case, I consider that 21st-century performers should put their questioning qualities to proof and ask themselves firstly if the structure they have is really the best for what they want to convey; secondly, if what they are doing on stage is really effective; and finally, we should all ask: what is next?

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