Vol. 60 No. 1 (2015): The Actor’s Body: Image, Metaphor and Sign
In the middle of this civilisation of the Image that we are passing through, of this world of information and fast communication, of simulation and fascination exerted by surface and appearances, in the middle of this age of the “post-biological’’ state, the human body became the crossing-point of interdisciplinary explorations. Taking into consideration the importance of the surfaces, the exterior body, as well as of the deep, inner body, the present-day theatrical visions impose to the actor, more than ever, a body of excellence in matter of corporal expressivity and of knowledge in stylistic adaptation.
More than a century has passed since the anti-naturalistic rebellions of Appia, Craig, Meyerhold, continued by Artaud, who knew how to impose the visual element as a part of theatrical language which has led to a new reading of the actor’s body. Through the stage poetics of practitioners such as J. Copeau, M. Tchekhov, J. Grotowski, J. Lecoq, T. Kantor, E. Barba, A. Mnouchkine, T. Suzuki, R. Wilson, D. Zinder, the entire twentieth century has participated to the achievement of a maximal expressivity of the actor’s body. And we could add the real conquests coming from dance and music, trough the work of artists like Appia; Dalcroze, Rudolf von Laban, Pina Bausch, Mary Overlie, Steven Paxton et Nancy Stark Smith, Tatsumi Hijikata, Gigi Căciuleanu and others.
Which would be thus the new « mises-en-scène » of the actor’s body taking into consideration this rich heritage? Which are the new approaches of the body’s expressivity, the new techniques and methods used in the actors’ instruction and pedagogics?