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KushPatel

Poetry in the 2AR/2NR

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So I'm attempting to start out with some performance-like style of debate with a focus on poetry and possibly rap. But would it be wrong to use it in the mentioned speeches as would the opponent consider it new evidence. Any other tips about performance debate will be helpful

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It's not always considered evidence as a performance, and it really depends on the team. I would think that, if you're going to do performance, the majority would be in the 1AC/1NC, but you could try a style where you supplement every speech with some performance. It also depends on what your performance is about any how performancy it is. Performance debate is tricky because there should be a reason why your performance in the specific round matters, and a lot of other things. I'd say that you should do a lot of practice rounds to fine-tune your performance before you break it in real rounds, because debating performance is tricky and you need a lot of experience for your performance to be good. Try watching some performance rounds on youtube to get a feel for how some debaters utilize performance, as there are some very successful debaters who play with performance. Overall, performance is a touchy subject and it should be approached carefully and practiced. If you get good at it then you have a lot of free reign, but it requires a lot of work to get good at. 

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Random but related thought: I'm not saying this is necessarily you, but I've noticed that a lot (not all) of "performance" teams that I've debated and judged at the high school level seem to miss the boat on a large part of their performance as it pertains to their criticism. When you present a poem/rap/dance/whatever, make sure YOU have a PURPOSE -- in other words, don't just "perform" to look edgy or feel cool. As long as the performance quite literally IS your argument or has some inherent value in articulating your argument, go for it. 

 

Now in terms of "am I allowed to perform in the 2NR/2AR" --

 

Performance at its core (at least the way you seem to be using the term) is usually an unconventional (but valuable for varying reasons) way to communicate/articulate an idea or argument. Depending on what that argument is, the performance could be characterized by the debaters as a way of disrupting norms or altering the way or the frame in which we choose to discuss the resolution.

 

So generally speaking, I would assume that the "performance" was introduced earlier on in the debate in the 1AC/1NC -- so yes -- I'd say you CAN "perform"  rebuttals since the argument is not new, but merely being supplemented/developed. However a reason I can see a team choosing NOT to "perform" in the rebuttals in the sense of reading more poetry or whatever is because they would want to spend the time UNPACKING and CONTEXTUALIZING the underlying arguments embedded in their "performance" (which is an important and necessary part of performance debates) and answering their opponents.

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