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Physical theatre

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Callum Young

on 4 August 2015

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Transcript of Physical theatre

Physical theatre
Physical theatre is a genre of theatrical performance that pursues storytelling through primarily physical means. Several performance traditions all describe themselves as "physical theatre", but the unifying aspect is a reliance on physical motion of the performers rather than or combined with dialogue to convey the story. In basic sense, you talk through hand gestures, body language, thought track and many more physical features and techniques.
Covering the history, the facts and the companies that perform it today...
Modern Physical Theatre
Notable Performers
Dympha Callery, author of the book '
Through the Body
' suggests that all physical theatre shares some common characteristics although each individual performance need not exhibit all such characteristics to be defined as physical theatre.

Elements include;
Devised origins, rather than originated from a pre-existing script.
Inter-disciplinary origins - it crosses between music, dance, visual art as well as theatre.
Challenging the traditional, proscenium arch, and the traditional performer/audience relationship (also known as "breaking the fourth wall").
Encouraging audience participation.

The 1980s companies began to experiment with a more physical type of theatre.
They wanted to get away from the restraints of realistic and naturalistic drama and
create an energetic visual theatre that combined strong design with choreography and physical imagery.

Influenced by the work of Philippe Gaulier and Jacques Lecoq, companies such as Theatre de Complicite applied their style to the reworking of classic texts and created new work in collaboration with writers.

This departure was not completely new - in the 1960s Peter Brook had become interested in a more physical and visual theatre. He had been inspired by Japanese Noh theatre and influenced by the work of Adrienne Mnouchkine's Theatre du Soleil in Paris. Earlier innovators in this area included Bauhaus, Dadaist and surrealist performers, choreographer Rudolf Laban and directors Meyerhold and Jerzy Grotowski and Richard Schechozer.
Modern Physical Theatre has grown from a variety of origins. Mime and theatrical clowning schools such as L'Ecole Jaques Lecoq in Paris have had a big influence on many modern expressions of physical theatre.

Eastern European practitioners have also had a strong influence on modern physical theatre, and both Vsevolod Meyerhold and Jerzy Grotowski are regarded by many as "fathers" of modern physical theatre

Contemporary Dance has also had a strong influence on what we regard as physical theatre, partly because most physical theatre requires actors to have a level of physical control and flexibility rarely found in those who do not have some sort of dance background. Modern physical theatre also has strong roots in more ancient traditions such as Commedia dell'arte and some suggest links to the ancient Greek theatre.
AXIS Dance Company
DV8 Physical Theatre
Restless Dance Theatre
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