Playing with history: Personal accounts of the political and cultural self in actor training through movement

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    This article attempts to explore and reveal ways in which practical movement work for actors conceals and reveals cultural histories and political significance. In doing so, it makes use of personal reflection as well as a critique of existing writing and practices. The article aims to set movement training in a wider context, a context that reveals the political significance of the personal and somatic experience of training and of the professional practice of training others. It relates the personal experience of teaching and learning movement to its political significance in order to suggest that this is where an important challenge in movement training for actors lies. Reflecting on his personal experience of teaching and learning through a number of movement exercises, the author considers what assumptions about embodied culture and the teaching of movement might be embedded in these exercises and the manner in which they operate in the training of performers. In reflecting on the kinds of interventions that might be possible in movement training in order to address these issues, the article seeks to begin a conversation about how the theoretical issues raised might affect practice.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)144-156
    JournalTheatre, Dance and Performance Training
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2014

    Bibliographical note

    This is an electronic version of an article published in Theatre, Dance and Performance Training, 5 (2), pp. 144-156. Theatre, Dance and Performance Training is available online at: .


    • actor training
    • embodied culture
    • foundational practice
    • movement
    • reflective practice
    • teaching


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