The training of the actor

Coordination: Carol Müller

Translation: María Dolores Ponce

UNAM-Dirección General de Publicaciones y Fomento

México, 2007
165 p.

Original title: Le training de l’acteur.

Presentations on the subject “What body for which theater(s)”, presented simultaneously with the season 1998-1999 by the Higher National Conservatory of Dramatic Arts (Conservatorio Nacional Superior de Arte Dramático) and the National Theater Center (Centro Nacional de Teatro). All of the above were published in France in the year 2000 under the title Le training de l’acteur. In the “Introduction”, Josette Feral explains to us how the word “training”, adopted as a transnational term, allows us to conceptualize the preparation of the actor beyond a mere gymnastics, implicit in the sports and military connotations associated with, for example, the Spanish term “entrenamiento”. She also underlines a difference between education and teaching as imparted in institutional schools and alternative projects of comprehensive acting training, which drove transformations in theater and the pedagogy of theater and which, in the first decades of the 20th century, sprouted in theater studies, theater labs, theater workshops and systematic and continuous education centers of great masters of contemporary theater. In the first section, “The Invention of Training”, are included the essays: “The Actor in Practice: Some Outstanding Experiences”, by Beatrice Picon-Vallin, a general historical re-telling, emphasizing the pedagogical experiences of Meyerhold and Grotowski. In the essays “Eugenio Barba: the Invisible Practice”, by Jean-Marie Pradier, and “The Absent Protagonist”, by Barba himself, the aesthetic and ethical notions —to conceive the technique as a medium and the training as a path of life, for example— that support the technical basis and the personalized training exercises of the actors of the Odin Teatret are explained. While Laurence Labrouche, in “Ariane Mnouchkine: The Available Body”, gets us closer to the teaching career of the founder of the Théâtre du Soleil. In the second section, “The Body in Exercise”, theater and dance scholars and stage creators (going beyond the diversity of their schools of thought and their diversifying training methodologies) share experiences and knowledge influenced by a solid creative and pedagogical practice in the following essays: “The Strategy of the Ninja”, by Yoshi Oida; “Take From Where You Can!”, by Andrzej Seweryn; “The Existential Experience of a Group”, by Eric Lacascade; “The Rules of the Game”, by Alexandre Del Perugia; “Increase the Space”, by Bob Villette; “Training, a Parapet”, by Farid Paya; “The Body Is Invented in an Instant”, by Odile Duboc; “Procuring the Body Is Knowledge of Oneself”, by Carolina Mararcade; “What Are We Besides Happiness?”, by Yves-Noel Genod; and finally, “A Playing Partner: The Body”, by Camilla Grandville. As a conclusion, the essay “Anthropology of the Body on Stage”, by David Le Breton, is included.