When thinking about the history of training exercises, I was led to reflect on how the nature of teaching through ‘generations’ of training can create a distance from the original intention of a practitioners work. In this musing about Stanislavski, I am offering a provocation about ownership and integrity.
The Dress by Jamie Wheeler
In the UK, we sometimes call them ‘hand-me-downs’ – those outgrown items of clothing from an older sibling or cousin that are bequeathed to us when they have outlived their original use. Off they go to serve another age group.
They are passed from generation to generation and can be adapted, taken in, trimmed, repaired and recoloured. Often what starts life as a loose shift dress intended to be practical and light becomes a stiff and starched shirt dress whose form should not be altered and whose collar is crisp and sharp. I wonder if all these changes might one day make the dress unwearable or unrecognisable?
The handwritten name label, once just a suggestion, is written over in indelible marker, attributed forever to an owner long since dead. They had moved on in later life, wearing different clothes, trying out new styles but everyone seems to remember this piece the most.
This piece is spoken about with great authority by people who didn’t actually see them wearing the dress. They knew someone who knew someone who tried the dress on and this makes them feel that the dress somehow belongs to them. They can speak about the dress. Are we sure we know who the dress belonged to?
When it’s back on its hanger and safely tucked away in the wardrobe amongst the other pieces, we can peek inside and ask ‘Whose memory are we honouring if we slip it on?’
Following the success of the first TDPT Blog Artist Awards, we are delighted to announce a call for a new round of these awards.
The first TDPT Blog Artist Awards were launched to help artists, practitioners, students and freelance performance-makers to engage with the blog. We aimed to mitigate the financial barriers facing those who did not have the institutional support that university academics are accustomed to.
Accordingly, with the generous support of Routledge and the Theatre, Dance and Performance Training journal, we were able to offer small pots of money (£50-150) to support artists who contributed to the site by investigating an area of performer training of interest to the wider community. Continue reading
The TDPT blog was launched last year to encourage a growing community of artists, academics, practitioners and researchers to share practice and debate issues that are currently alive within the disciplines of theatre, dance and performance training. In November to mark the one year anniversary of the launch of the site we will be launching a series of blog posts supported by the new TDPT Blog Artist Awards.
One of our aims was to engage a new audience for the TDPT journal while also creating an online space that encourages spontaneous and productive conversation and debate. We are grateful to everyone who has posted their work on the site to date and we are looking to further grow our network of artists, researchers and performance-makers. The blog currently has around 1000 visitors a month from around the world.
We are keen to encourage artists, practitioners, students and freelance performance-makers to engage with the blog and are launching the TDPT Blog Artist Awards which aim to facilitate those not in full-time employment and students to be able to contribute to the site and the community. We have small pots of money (£50-150) to support artists who pitch an idea for a contribution to the site, either audio-visual, text-based or audio that disseminates an area of performer training that may be of interest to the wider community. To apply, please write a short proposal (no more than 300 words) outlining your suggested submission, format and any media you intend to use. You should also include in your statement how you intend to disseminate your post to your networks and help build new audiences for the blog. Please email proposals to the blog editors: Maria Kapsali [email protected], Bryan Brown [email protected] and James McLaughlin [email protected].