Posts Tagged ‘critical theory’

Scholar’s Corner: POLITICS OF PIETY

As a doctoral student at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, I am currently preparing to take the long-awaited “Second Examination” in August. This consists of a rigorous set of written and oral exams on three scholarly fields that I myself have defined. In this way it is unlike the much broader “First Examination,” which covered all of theatre history and theory in the widest possible scope.

My three fields are as follows:

1) “Approaches to Embodied Practice” (30 books)

2) “Actor Training in the U.S. since 1930” (25 books)

3) “Affect, Politics, and Performance” (25 books)

With the idea that these topics could be of interest to the Movement Research community, I will be posting brief discussions of some of my favorite books here throughout the month of July. Each of the books I will address was published in the past ten years, and each is excellent overall. They are all scholarly works, although some are more accessible in tone and language than others. I hope that these blog entries will point theory-minded practitioners towards some new ideas in emerging scholarship — and perhaps tempt some scholars to the website of Movement Research.

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Polemic: “vocabulary”

The idea that performance work is based on a “vocabulary” of movements or gestures may be useful in some contexts but is also problematic and fundamentally misleading.

Technique is not language. Technique shares some similarities with language, but using language as a metaphor for embodied technique (as many people do) leaves out a huge aspect of technique and collapses the essential differences between performance and writing.

I am not blind to the advantages of Read the rest of this entry »

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