Perform “the space”, not “in the space”: Incorporating place, environment and imagination in integrative practices

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Abstract

Robert Lewis and Dominique Sweeney at Charles Sturt University are developing integrative practices and experimentation in the undergraduate acting program. They draw on a wide range of practical and theoretical experiences including Lecoq, Butoh, Suzuki Actor Training Method and Laban Movement Analysis. In this article they discuss how actors train to respond through an integrated awareness of personal space – body and voice – with place and architecture. The interactive approach to actor training is designed to extend imaginations through identification beyond the constricts of the human body. Actors explore shape, colour, animals, elements, substances, poetry and the great themes of existence. This is related to the local environment. Their actor-training research is located in the place and the instilled history or infused atmosphere. Technology and performance practice change constantly. Places too are temporal with changes in landscape over time. Where we are here and now in this moment is the constant. That is what we are compelled to share. This awareness is developed through careful and detailed observation of place. Original actor training gives the method and the participant actors power and ownership of their work located in place.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-96
Number of pages11
JournalFusion Journal
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - 09 Apr 2019
EventAusAct Conference - Wagga Wagga, Wagga Wagga, Australia
Duration: 01 Sep 201802 Sep 2018

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training method
poetry
animal
history
performance
imagination
experience
time

Grant Number

  • Acting
  • Voice
  • Movement
  • Land
  • Place
  • Environment
  • Space

Cite this

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title = "Perform “the space”, not “in the space”: Incorporating place, environment and imagination in integrative practices",
abstract = "Robert Lewis and Dominique Sweeney at Charles Sturt University are developing integrative practices and experimentation in the undergraduate acting program. They draw on a wide range of practical and theoretical experiences including Lecoq, Butoh, Suzuki Actor Training Method and Laban Movement Analysis. In this article they discuss how actors train to respond through an integrated awareness of personal space – body and voice – with place and architecture. The interactive approach to actor training is designed to extend imaginations through identification beyond the constricts of the human body. Actors explore shape, colour, animals, elements, substances, poetry and the great themes of existence. This is related to the local environment. Their actor-training research is located in the place and the instilled history or infused atmosphere. Technology and performance practice change constantly. Places too are temporal with changes in landscape over time. Where we are here and now in this moment is the constant. That is what we are compelled to share. This awareness is developed through careful and detailed observation of place. Original actor training gives the method and the participant actors power and ownership of their work located in place.",
author = "Robert Lewis and Dominique Sweeney",
note = "Dr Robert Lewis is a Lecturer in Acting and Course Director (Creative Industries) at Charles Sturt University and previously lectured in the Theatre Program at the University of Tasmania (UTAS). He has studied theatre at UTAS, Honours at Monash University, Education at RMIT and Voice Studies at NIDA. His PhD focused on integrative practices and intercultural performance training aesthetics. He is a director, writer, theatre maker and voice and movement teacher. Robert has published theatre performances and training films through Contemporary Arts Media (Artfilms) and has also published various academic articles on the subject of voice and movement integration. Robert is the founder of AusAct. Dr Dominique Sweeney lectures in Stage and Screen Acting at Charles Sturt University. He is a performer, creator and film-maker specialising in documenting performance practice. In particular he researches and documents traditional Aboriginal public performances and works with how to best manage digital archives with Traditional Owners. Dominique taught acting at Griffith, ANU, UWS, Macquarie and Sydney Universities and at the St.Petersburg State Theatre Arts Academy. He taught and directed at Sydney Theatre School. His education included two years in Paris at L’{\'E}cole Internationale de Th{\'e}{\^a}tre Jacques Lecoq. His performance work has been on stages, screen and other locations throughout Australia and internationally. Dominique is a core member and chair of the board of Theatre Kantanka, a company that specialise in site specific performance (www.kantanka.com.au). He also works with Fine Line, a Lecoq based ensemble.",
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