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TaPRA Performer Training Working Group : The Temporal Turn – time, age and performer training.

Call for participation: TaPRA Performer Training Working Group

The 11th Annual TaPRA Conference will be co-hosted by University of Worcester, UK from 8th to 10th September 2015.

For more information please see: http://www.tapra.org/

The Performer Training Working Group has been meeting for ten years and has produced several collaborative outputs, including a chapter on Research Methods for the Laboratory and a thrice-yearly Journal dedicated to performer training in all its manifestations.  The co-convenors are delighted to issue a call for contributions for the forthcoming 2015 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)

Option for publication

The co-convenors are currently in discussion with Routledge regarding publication of an edited collection that will include appropriate contributions from the conference. Please indicate when submitting your proposal whether you wish to also be considered for inclusion in the publication.

2015 Themes: The Temporal Turn – time, age and performer training.

This year’s focus acknowledges the extent to which notions of time are meshed into almost every aspect of performer training. Beyond an initial acknowledgement that all training takes place not only in a space but for a given duration and at specific times of the day or night, we are also interested in the following issues, amongst others:

How training relates to age, how training itself ages, and how time relates to notions of maturity, experience, decay, decline, birth and death within the context of training, its practices and its histories.

We are interested in contributions that explore the duration of training, the experience of time during training, and the timing of training activity. Papers, provocations and workshops might address: At what age training might begin, or end? How training might be differently inflected for older or younger trainees? Can and indeed should children be trained for performance? At what age might training stop? How might training change throughout the life-span of a performer? How do training collectives, ensembles and institutions experience and negotiate change, aging or renewal?

We are interested to consider whether training regimes have their own life-span? What might newness, maturity and decrepitude mean for a training regime? How might we usefully compare old and new training regimes? When might we need to call time on a training regime – when might its time be up?

Is age difference necessary for training – can the young train the old?

Do the changes of the body and voice over time offer challenges and opportunities for the trainee and the trainer? How do the temporalities of imagination, memory, cognition and perception correlate with these physio-vocal changes?

How important is the rhythm of training – what can best be learnt slowly and what can best be learnt at speed? When and why is training experienced as an intensity of time, and when as a loosening of time? What times of the day are best for training, and in what ways is training affected by changes in when in the day it takes place? In an age where time = money and in which time is increasingly foreshortened, what might be the value of taking one’s time and is such a process a luxury or a necessity?

How does training work its effects on the body over time – how important is time in the changes that training initiates? Lecoq used to tell his students that they would understand the training at his school five years after they left – what does such a statement mean? How important is time for the training process and how much time do we need to train.

Notions of rest, pause, gestation and lying fallow are often built into performer preparation. Is this use of time recognised, noted and valued or does it remain hidden and unspoken?

Timing in performance can be determined in many ways with dancers commonly using counts, music, breath rhythms or open improvisational response. How are these different approaches accounted for within movement training? What does ‘good timing’ mean and can it be taught?

If you have proposals that do not fit into this list, please do contact the Performer Training Working Group co-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 17 April 2015 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, http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals/rtdp

We very much look forward to hearing from you.

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

m.evans@coventry.ac.uk

Konstantinos Thomaidis, School of Media and Performing Arts, University of Portsmouth.

konstantinos.thomaidis@port.ac.uk

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

libby.worth@rhul.ac.uk

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