Call for Papers: Training for Performance Art and Live Art

“Action/Ideas” workshop at Cardiff College of Art (UK) in the early 1970s; photographer unknown

This special issue of Theatre, Dance and Performance Training (TDPT) is interested in the training of performance and live artists – its forms, histories, pedagogies, geographies, institutions and anti-institutions, and its legacies. To speak of ‘training’ in this context may seem surprising as the term evokes notions of tradition, technique and canon that performance and live art have frequently challenged or abandoned altogether. And biographies of performance and live artists often imply that their artistic formation occurred despite rather than because of the formal training they received at art colleges and universities. Yet, the making of performance and live art requires many skills and knowledges, whether embodied or conceptual, compositional or professional, and such skills and knowledges have been the subject of a multiplicity of approaches to their nurture and development.

Training for Performance Art and Live Art is interested in tracking the approaches to training in performance and live art as they have emerged both within and outside the contexts of formal education. The histories of performance art and live art are deeply imbricated with those of education and its institutions. Many artists who have shaped performance and live art have also been committed teachers and activists educators; pedagogical approaches to their teaching emerged alongside the performance practices themselves; educational institutions offered material support for the making of performance works and provided a living for its artists; and the integration of performance into their provision has led to changes to the organisational structures and procedures of art schools and universities. At the same time, performance and live artists have devised radical artist-led modelsof anti-training, created non-institutional spaces of learning and adopted events and publications as alternative forms of curricula.

This call for contributions invites textual, visual or performative submissions (see below) that examine the role that training and education have played for performance and live art. We are particularly keen to receive proposals that explore the theme from an historical perspective; and those that discuss local, translocal, national or transnational contexts for the pedagogical and training histories of performance and live art. We also encourage contributions that evaluate the legacies of these histories, and that assess their continuing relevance and potential for re-activation in the context of today’s predominantly normative, market-driven educational provision. Contributions that explore the methodological implications of documenting and researching what has gone on in the training spaces of performance and live art are also welcome.

We also welcome suggestions for recent books on the theme to be reviewed; or for foundational texts on the topic of performance and live art training to be re-reviewed. 

Innovative cross-over print/digital formats are possible, including the submission of audiovisual training materials, which can be housed on this online interactive Theatre, Dance and Performance Training blog: http://theatredanceperformancetraining.org/

Areas of interest for the Special Issue include (but are not limited to):

• distinct pedagogical approaches to the teaching of performance and live artists

• experimental and alternative modes of training in performance and live art

• models of anti-training in performance

• the role of educational institutions in the emergence of performance art and live art

• the role of anti-institutional, counter-educational or deschooling initiatives in the emergence of performance art and live art (eg. anti-universities; artist-run schools; cooperatives; workshops; laboratories)

• approaches to learning and ’unlearning’ in performance training

• models of the ‘self-taught’ performance artist

• training as continuing artistic practice

• translocal or transnational exchanges and collaborations (eg. festivals; residencies; magazines; mail art) and their impact on the pedagogies of performance and live art

• the impact of key teachers on the development of performance and live art (eg. John Cage; Joseph Beuys; Allan Kaprow; Suzanne Lacy; Alastair MacLennan; Marina Abramović; Anthony Howell; Alanna O’Kelly; Doris Stauffer; Roy Ascott; Rose Finn-Kelcey; etc)

• publications on the pedagogy and training of performance and live art (eg. Anthony Howell; Charles Garioan; Marilyn Arsem) and their impact

• artists books; charts; games or kits as alternative curriculum models for performance and live art 

• alternative spaces and models for intergenerational exchanges in the framework of teaching and learning performance and live art

• the documentation of teaching practices in the field of performance and live art

• research approaches to the histories of training in performance and live art

• the impact of the ‘pedagogization’ of performance and live art on artistic development

• institutional legacies of performance art training

• strategies for the re-activation of past pedagogies for the future ofperformance and live art

About Theatre, Dance and Performance Training (TDPT)

Special Issues of Theatre, Dance and Performance Training (TDPT) are an essential part of its offer and complement the open issues in each volume. TDPTis an international academic journal devoted to all aspects of ‘training’ (broadly defined) within the performing arts. It was founded in 2010 and launched its own blog in 2015. Our target readership comprises scholars and the many varieties of professional performers, makers, choreographers, directors, dramaturgs and composers working in theatre, dance, performance and live art who have an interest in the practices of training. TDPT’s co-editors are Jonathan Pitches (University of Leeds) and Libby Worth (Royal Holloway, University of London).

Submitting a proposal:

To signal your interest and intention to make a contribution to this special issue please contact Heike Roms for an initial exchange of ideas/thoughts or email a proposal (max 300 words) to Heike Roms at h.roms@exeter.ac.uk

Firm proposals for all three sections (Articles, Sources or Training Grounds) must be received by 1 May 2019 at the latest.

Please identify the intended format for your proposed contribution; and whether you would like it to be considered for the “Articles”, “Sources” or “Training Ground” section and/or the blog.

Issue Schedule:

1 May 2019: Proposals to be submitted to Heike Roms h.roms@exeter.ac.uk

31 May 2019: Response from editor and, if successful, invitation to submit contribution

June to End August 2019: Writing/preparation period 

Start Sept to end October 2019: Peer review period

November 2019 – end January 2020: Author revisions post peer review

June 2020: Publication as Issue 11.2

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