Workshop in contemporary approaches to devising theatre

The workshops aimed at directors and actors focuses on exploring strategies and innovative approaches to devising contemporary performance. The workshops look at the relationship between a performer’s physicality and kinaesthetics to evolving an aesthetic that creates a performative text at the moment of performance.  Particular attention will be given to awareness of movement and spatial literacy in order to complement literary-psychological readings of a text.  The workshop will re-articulate key concepts of intention and interpretation from the interrelated positions of the performer and the director.   The workshop will consider the heritage of movement training and directorial approaches of key practitioners such as Michel Checkhov, Laban, Lecoq, Grotowski and address adaptation of exiting models in formulating a theatre practice that acknowledges our expanding understanding of ‘what theatre is’ and ‘how it works’.

The workshop will begin with movement training for actors in relation to directorial and dramaturgical practice. Emphasis will be given to the relationship between the performer’s process into motion and the resulting expressive form.  Detailed texture and execution of movement will be explored, with attention to dynamics, extreme changes of tempi and levels. The second part of the master class will explore strategies of devised theatre making.  Particular attention will be given to understanding the cause and effect of different performance registers (voice, motion, emotion, text, sound, space design) to construct a cohesive performative text.

Ana Sánchez Colberg and Theatre enCorps

Ana Sánchez-Colberg has gained an international reputation as a choreographer, dance and actress. Ana trained in classical ballet in her native Puerto Rico before turning to contemporary dance. After completing a BA (Hons) in Theatre at the University of Pennsylvania she pursued a Master of Fine Arts (Choreography) at Temple University in Philadelphia.  Under the tutelage of Helmut Gottschild (who was assistant to Mary Wigman in Berlin until 1969) she trained in Wigman, Jooss and Tanztheater techniques.  During this time Sanchez Colberg was a member of the Terry Beck Troupe, a Philadelphia  based dance theatre company and Movement Coordinator for Intuitons, a physical theatre company.  In 1986, under the auspices of a fellowship from the Institute of Culture of Puerto Rico, she came to England to pursue further dance training and to follow a Ph D programme at the Laban Centre London, which she completed in 1992.  
Concurrent with her work in dance and choreography, Sánchez-Colberg also has a track record in work in theatre and performance, with a particular focus on movement for actors and physical/non text based direction and dramaturgy. Sánchez-Colberg holds a BA (Hons) Theatre Arts, Magna Cum Laude (with a double major in Drama Literature-20th Century ) from the University of Pennsylvania. As part of the work towards honours, she followed an independent programme of study leading to a dissertation looking at the 'birth' of physical theatre in relation to changes to theatre and dance practices stemming from the avant-garde of the early 1900s in Europe. The work looked in detail at practitioners such as Meyerhold, Copeau, Checkhov, Lecoq, Artaud and Grotowski. The research had a practical dimension in collaboration with the physical theatre company 'Intuitons', a devised-performance based on Euripide's Bacchae for which she did the movement direction as well as played the lead role of Dyonisus.


Ana Sanchez-ColbergAs movement director for Intuitons, she was involved in three major productions: Alice In Wonderland (1983) (based on the Andre Gregory Performance Garage text of the 1970s), Bacchae - in 84 , and Buchner's Woyzzeck(1984). She has also worked with London-based Rougue 28 Theatre Company as performer and movement advisor between 2006-2008. Sánchez-Colberg was course leader of the MA Performance Practices and Research at Central School of Speech and Drama (2005–2008), the largest conservatory of drama and theatre in the UK. During this time she was also unit leader of the Dramaturgy strand of the MA Advanced Theatre Practices as well as contributed to various modules in the MA Movement Direction, MA Classical Acting and MA Musical Theatre. She was also Ph D supervisor to various theatre and performance research projects ranging from interdisciplinary approaches to puppetry and dance to re-examination of Laban's work in dialogue with the philosophy of Aristotle. Her approach to movement for actors is based on Laban's principles, in particularly an understanding of the infinite possibilities of movement that are available for theatrical expression both through the 'body's own terms' as well as in relation to working with text - devised and classical. The approach is not one that seeks to establish a movement language based on external repetition of movement patterns, but rather one that seeks to develop the performer as an 'articulate subject' with particular physical, dynamic, mental and emotive dimensions all which play a role in the creation of the stage world. Importantly the training is organised under the framework of a 'laboratory' of movement exploration, bringing forward the idea of 'what if...' -- central to text based performance- to bear upon the treatment of the body on stage. The emphasis is on engaging creatively in process based work whilst acquiring precise physical skills (core stability, flexibility, dynamic range, effective use of breath for movement and voice, understanding the poetics of the body-in-space and space-of-the body). Sánchez-Colberg position as an expert practitioner in theatre is confirmed by the many invitations to teach at important international fora as well as the track record of external examination in the area of movement for actors -including examination of Ph D level work- at Rose Bruford College (UK), Chichester University (UK), Dartington College (UK), Brunell University (UK), University of Canterbury (UK), Helsinki Theatre Academy (FI).
She is the author of the seminal essay defining physical theatre practice Altered States and Sublimal Spaces: Charting the Road towards a Physical Theatre. First published in the journal Performance Research in 1996, the essay is now included in the reader Physical Theatres: A Critical Reader, edited by John Keefe and Simon Murray.
Since 2006 and as part of her position of Professor of Choreography and Composition at the University Dance and Circus Stockholm, Sánchez-Colberg has worked in various interdisciplinary projects between dance and new circus. She is currently supervising John Paul Zaccarini, the first Ph D candidate in a practice based dissertation in (new) Circus.



 
 

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