Embodiment in Acting Practice

23-24 October  CISPA Copenhagen, Denmark

Organised by Dr Kiki Selioni Post-doc Researcher Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, Artistic director of The Makings of the Actor, CISPA (Copenhagen International School of Performing Arts), Labanarium, and hosted by CISPA.

Conference Venue: CISPA – Copenhagen International School of Performing Arts, Thoravej 35, 2400 København, Denmark 

Following the successful conferences ( 2018 in Athens, in 2019 at Cispa Copenhagen,  Berthelot Theatre Paris, MCF  Athens, LMTA Vilnius, 2020 in Athens, and in 2021 two livestreamed Conferences),  Post-doctoral Researcher Dr Kiki Selioni, Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, The Makings of the Actor, CISPA, Labanarium  have taken the initiative to organize a second event in Copenhagen. The aim is to create a series of international events to meet colleagues, practitioners and researchers, to share experiences, knowledge and current research practices in the field of actor-training and performance practices. The final goal is to create an international network to exchange dialogues of the arising challenges of the 21st century academies, institutions, as well as the arts industry.

In recognition of both the global reach of this theme and the expansive network of interested practitioners and scholars, as well as the impact of the current pandemic, participants are invited to take part either in person or virtually. Conference proceedings will be live-streamed; papers, and where appropriate workshops and demonstrations, can be presented remotely.

Embodiment in Acting Practice

Acting is a living, breathing craft. No matter the technique, no matter the preparation, performance culminates in the act of presence before the audience. Whether considering an individual actor or the ensemble as a whole, the theatrical event ultimately revolves around the performative manifestation of lived experience: embodiment.

In the actor’s and actors’ bodies, in their mindbody presence as beings on a stage before an audience, all of the theatre-makers’ craft must find its home. Our bodies house the internal world being lived and experienced, our bodies shape and frame the external representation of that experience, and our bodies unite with all of the elements of the psyche to give form to impulse, voice to desire, and action to instinct. Thus it is this ongoing union of inner with outer, of self with the role, which can bring a theatrical moment to life: embodiment.

Lived experience, embodied experience, defines the substance with which we build a breathing, moving theatre. The mindbody experience, the Self and the Other, must all be united within ourselves the performers, so that the artistic and creative elements which inspire our theatre-making may take voice in their fullest form. Alive, active, interactive and impulsive, an embodied moment can shape the face of time as narrative comes into tangible existence.

What characteristics of this onstage embodiment are worth our creative attention? Which approaches, which trainings, which mindsets and which psychophysical practices can hone the embodied self, even the embodied whole and discovery of an embodied Other? How do actors, ensembles, directors and pedagogues relate to the many facets of embodiment? And which elements of embodiment are essential onstage, which preferential, and which beneficial or not? 

With the task and challenge of psychophysical embodiment set before us, as part of any role, any performance, and any collaborative creation, how can we conceive of the many elements which define it, approaching our work with a deliberate ability to utilise embodiment to its fullest?

Granted by the Ministry of Culture and Sport