Undisciplined Discipline: Performer Training for a New Generation

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    Undisciplined Discipline seeks to develop diverse and inclusive performer training practices, informed by radical pedagogies. Our project explores the dynamics between trainer, trainee, and space, insisting on queering, unlearning and resisting as forms of practice, enquiry and resistance. We seek to challenge hegemonic approaches to performer training, query traditional master/student power dynamics and investigate how these play out in studio practices. In our own training/teaching experiences we have observed how the ways in which ‘disciplines are inherited and taught in Western practices and institutions, tend to exclude and disengage particular types of bodies. The traditional master/student paradigm embedded in systemised disciplines leaves little room for critical thinking and artistic expression on the part of the student. Taking heed of Sara Ahmed’s critique of the ‘gap between symbolic commitments to diversity and the experience of those who embody diversity’, we seek to investigate how we might democratise performer training practices by putting student-performers at the heart of the training process.
    In this presentation we will perform the first of our three manifestos for performer training, which address directly the students and practitioners involved in our work. We take into account what role performer training plays in communities inside and outside of the academy and theatre institutions, using the manifesto form as a means of rethinking diversity, accessibility, inclusivity in our training environments. We aim to explore this with the following questions:

    • What strategies are needed to redress the imbalance of autonomy/agency/authority in performer training?
    • How can we reframe the ‘master’ and ‘student’ as co-collaborators within 21st century training?
    • How might we work towards responsive models for performer training, that look towards working with different types of bodies?
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusUnpublished - 2019
    EventTheatre and Performance Research Association: TaPRA2017 - University of Salford, Salford, United Kingdom
    Duration: 30 Aug 20171 Sept 2017


    ConferenceTheatre and Performance Research Association
    Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
    Internet address


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