1:1 Performance Facilitation

Let's co-narrate the ways relationships evolve between languages, histories, and identities.

One to One, One on One, and Audience of One are all terms used to describe a performance that invites one audience member to have an artistic experience on their own with a performer. These performance interactions can last ten minutes to one hour. Usually, they are site-specific, which means the place or location of the performance is conceptually connected to the theme. For example, before bringing groups together for dialogue, I facilitate an experience to co-narrate the ways relationships evolve between languages, histories, and identities, 1:1. 

Clients are provided with a synopsis of the performance, which is also an invitation. The framework of the 1:1 performance lays a foundation for structured dialogue. It is an approach to trust building or team building to prepare for facilitated processes in a group setting. With the participant’s consent, clients are guided through a conversation about the making of the performance and its relationship to the themes stated in the invitation. A semi-structured script is used to initiate a dialogue that challenges assumptions about cultures that might at first seem different. At the end of the performance, the participant/performer is invited to write about their experience. 

This form of documentation results in co-creating an artwork, which is also an artifact. The documentation of 1:1 performances are artworks, such as textiles, self-made identity cards, photographs, and videos. They can be exhibited at home, in art fairs, or in galleries. All these artworks serve as a mosaic of cultural inhabitations and are used to initiate a group conversation when installed in a gallery space.

Waking Up Iranian American

Waking Up Iranian American is an autoethnographic work and series of six 1:1 performances focused on the ways cultural exchange develops between people. Participants are invited to partake in discussions and actions about identity, nationalism, and xenophobia. The goal is to move beyond antiquated notions of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and ability. The dialogical framework of the performance is a key to changing power relationships between performers and participants. The performance practice is a form of facilitation because it uses collaboration to shift perception of self through facilitated dialogue. Therefore, this contributes to an evolution in how we can understand ourselves through social intimacy and viewing identity as multiple.

Since categories do not always accurately reflect who you are and what you have experienced, I use my Iranian and American heritage to initiate a conversation on the ways cultural exchange develops between a performer and a participant. The labels Iranian and American fade as the participant takes on the role of performer. Eventually being neither Iranian nor American is the focus, but a way to show how culture, like identity, is a construct that can be created, re-created, and co-created through collaboration and dialogue.

1:1 performances are site-specific which means the place or location of the performance is conceptually connected to the theme. Passersby are the audience. It is an opportunity to co-narrate the ways relationships evolve between languages, histories, and identities, 1:1. All participants in 1:1 performances are invited to reflect on the co-created artistic experiences and how they increased awareness of cultural bias and decreased levels of tension created by xenophobia. Using co-created art practices to facilitate conversations about challenging topics cultivates a deeper sense of belonging, because the participants have undergone a similar shared experience: 1:1 performances. Documentation of the dialogue during 1:1 performances creates content to shape the next phase, Formulations of Assembly, Workshop-as-Event.

Clients are invited to choose a performance from the Waking Up Iranian American series. The themes include, but are not limited to the following.