Movement training for the modern actor

    Research output: Book/ReportBook

    38 Citations (Scopus)
    3110 Downloads (Pure)
    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationLondon
    Number of pages222
    ISBN (Print)9780415963671
    Publication statusPublished - 11 Dec 2010

    Publication series

    NameRoutledge Advances in Theatre & Performance Studies

    Bibliographical note

    Author's note: The book contains interview material gathered from groups of 10-15 students at four leading UK actor training institutions with reputations for excellence in their fields over a period of two years, as well as with leading movement teachers in the relevant institutions, each of whom represented a strand of theatre movement training practice (Laban, Alexander, Lecoq, etc.). Using a grounded theory approach, I built a critical and theoretical approach to movement training through a rigorous interrogation of the interview material and the historical data. The book is consequently organised into chapters which explore: the history of movement training in relation to twentieth century concepts of the efficient and productive body; the notion of the natural and neutral body and the relevance of these notions to the training of actors in the twentieth century; Foucault’s notion of the docile body, the body inscribed by its training, and the sense in which the actor learns to develop a body socially and professionally recognisable as an actor’s body; and the notion of the unruly body, a concept that opens up ways in which the actor’s body is protean and can be seen as dissolving meanings as well as making them.
    There is no other book currently published which tackles the cultural history of movement training for actors in relation to the wider history of movement training, and the intersection of theory and practice in relation to the teaching of movement within the training of professional actors in the UK. The book is extensively used within the field in the UK, and is also acknowledged internationally (it is published in New York). It has been key to defining the field in terms of theory as almost all other books are principally ‘how to’ texts. In relation to the field of movement training for professional actors it has established the historical and theoretical landscape for the field.


    • movement training
    • performing arts
    • actor training

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