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Call for participation: TaPRA Performer Training Working Group

The 10th Annual TaPRA Conference will be co-hosted by Royal Holloway, University of London, UK from 3rd to 5th September 2014.

The Performer Training Working Group has been meeting for nine years and has produced several collaborative outputs, including a chapter on Research Methods for the Laboratory and a thrice-yearly Journal dedicated to Training in all its manifestations.  The co-convenors are delighted to issue a call for contributions for the forthcoming 2014 TaPRA conference.


We are interested in a range of presentation formats including the following:


•             formal papers (max 20 minutes)

•             provocations or position statements (max 10 minutes)

•             instances of practice as research or short workshops/demonstrations (1 hour)


2014 Themes: Being Filmed: training and the camera, training and the screen.

The focus on training for film and digital media recordings builds on discussions that emerged in the working group last year on transmission. Given the proliferation of technological developments in communication within creative, research and pedagogic practices, how does this extend demands on training for performers? In the silent film era of the early twentieth century directors sought out dance schools such as Denishawn in the US or structured movement pedagogies such as Delsarte to best support the demands made on performers for this medium. What trends are evident now to support performers who very often work in both live, digital and film performance? Are there specific techniques to support these transitions, especially in intermedia or hybrid genres? How can we best now understand the interface between training for live performance and training for mediatized performance? Does this distinction have meaning or significance any more? Beyond the camera – how do we train for performances as avatars, or as digitally enhanced or transformed representations? How does the filming of process and generation of archives on rehearsal and training impact on, even fix, such processes? How might filming and recording of training resist such calcification of process? Since many performers can now easily film their work at any stage in development how does this enter into training? How does the predominance of the scopic economies of performance impact on the actual processes of, or languages around, training? How do we account for the unobservable in the training process? How does filming training or training for film differ across cultures and histories? As technology becomes more wearable and easier to use, how might it interface with the student’s experience of their training, with their reflections on their training? If training can be recorded, archived, disseminated instantly, to whom does it belong? Does the link between training and culture have meaning in a world where technology enables training to cross multiple cultural boundaries with at least superficial ease? Does banning the camera from the classroom make sense any more?

If you have proposals that do not fit into this list, please do contact the Performer Training Working Group convenors for a conversation.

Circulation of Paper based presentations in advance of the conference

Papers are circulated in advance of the conference, so paper contributors should be prepared to have a full paper by early/mid August.

Joint working group sessions at the TaPRA conference

Please also note that our working group is currently planning to schedule one joint session with the TaPRA Popular Performance working group. More details will be announced on this in due course.

Submitting a Proposal

Please send 250 word (max) proposals/abstracts with brief biography and a list of resource needs to all of the three convenors (details below) by ? at the latest.  You will hear back from us within 2-3 weeks.

We welcome questions and conversations prior to this date if any colleagues need advice and/or clarification on any aspect of the above. Please note that our group also welcomes participation from colleagues who do not wish to submit papers or other presentations. However, if you do anticipate participating in our working group, but not delivering a paper, please email us your name and details so we can ensure you receive papers in advance.

Theatre, Dance and Performance Training journal (TDPT)

TaPRA Papers may be considered for further development and publication in the Routledge Journal TDPT,

We very much look forward to hearing from you.

Mark Evans, Coventry School of Art and Design, Coventry University.

Konstantinos Thomaidis, School of Creative Arts, Film and Media, University of Portsmouth.

Libby Worth, Department of Drama and Theatre, Royal Holloway, University of London

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