Category Archives: Performance

Final Reminder CfP TaPRA Performer Training WG

The 12th Annual TaPRA Conference will be co-hosted by University of Bristol, UK from 5th to 7th September 2016 (see: )

The Performer Training Working Group has been meeting for eleven years and has produced several collaborative outputs, including a variety of contributions to the thrice-yearly journal, Theatre, Dance and Performance Training, dedicated to training in all its manifestations, and the associated blog

Konstantinos, Maria, and Tom, the working group co-convenors, are delighted to issue a call for contributions for the forthcoming 2016 TaPRA conference.

We are interested in a range of presentation formats including the following:

  • formal papers (max 20 minutes)
  • provocations or position statements (max 10 minutes)
  • instances of practice as research or short workshops/demonstrations (1 hour)


2016 Theme: Speech and Text in Performer Training

This year’s focus acknowledges the role that text and speech play in performer training. In the context of the rich variety of training practices and research in the working group, ‘text’ is not meant to refer only to words in a printed play-text, but rather to the expansive range of sources in our work. In particular, we would like to consider the link between the different notions of text and speech in this year’s conference. What are the key interventions that are being made in these areas? How do we, from our different and overlapping disciplines, teach, train, and theoretically engage with text and speech in our work?

Within this broad area, there are particular themes which we invite contributions on:

The actor and the text

What are the current developments and new practices in actor training on text? What are the dominant trends in work on verse, and on early-modern texts? How does actortraining bridge vocal studies and textual studies, and how does ‘speech’ relate to these two areas? How have training practices evolved within professional theatre companies? What are the emerging practices for textual analysis within actor training? What have been the developments in speech training for radio drama, and voice-over? How do we train actors to work on found texts such as documentary or testimonial sources?

Dance and movement: the physical and verbal body

How do training pedagogies based on dance integrate text? How do performers/trainers work with notions of text as soundscape or score? How does the physical body relate to silence or to the verbal? How do we understand and frame speech and verbalisation as a physical act? Where are the intersections between somatic practices and speechtraining? To what extent is this distinct from physicalisation in dance? What are the current approaches to physiovocal training?

Text and Aurality

How do we train the sonic and aural aspects of speech? How do we work on text in opera and musical theatre training? How do we see speech and voice as distinct or overlapping? How do we tailor our training towards these different forms? What are the new interventions with regard to speech within vocal studies? How much of this work takes place in formalised training or rehearsal contexts, and how much in the performer’s own, private work? How does language function in relation to text and speech?

Intersections between text, speech, and technology

What are the functions of speech in our work with digital and emergent technologies? What constitutes the ‘text’ and are there additional or alternative understandings of speech and text that technology can offer within a training context? How do we understand speech and the post-human? How might we explore synthesised or mediated speech in performer training?

If you have proposals that do not fit into this list, please do contact the Performer TrainingWorking Group convenors for a conversation:

Tom Cantrell (

Maria Kapsali (

Konstantinos Thomaidis (


Submitting a Proposal

Please send 250 word (max) proposals/abstracts with brief biography (100 words) and a list of resource needs to all of the three convenors by 18th April 2016 at the latest.  You will hear back from us within 2-3 weeks. We welcome questions and conversations prior to this date if any colleagues need advice and/or clarification on any aspect of the above.

Circulation of paper-based presentations in advance of the conference

Papers are circulated in advance of the conference, so paper contributors should be prepared to have a full paper by early/mid August.

Please note that our group also welcomes participation from colleagues who do not wish to submit papers or other presentations. However, if you do wish to participate in ourworking group, but are not delivering a paper, please email us your name and details so we can ensure you receive papers in advance.

Joint working group sessions at the TaPRA conference

Please also note that our working group is currently planning to schedule one joint session. More details will be announced on this in due course.

Theatre, Dance and Performance Training journal (TDPT)

TaPRA Papers may be considered for further development and publication in the Routledge Journal TDPT,

Professional & Research Network Event: Creating narrative, building characters

London Studio Centre will be hosting its fourth Professional & Research Network Roundtable Discussion on

Tuesday 20 October from 6.30 until 8.00pm: ‘Creating narrative, building characters’

at artsdepot in North Finchley. We’d love for you to attend. Please email Emma Welsh on to reserve your place.

The event aims to open up conversations about the dancing body and storytelling. In which ways are choreographers/directors inspired to work with narrative? What are the relationships between choreographic, musical and narrative structure in the 21st century? How do choreographers/directors work with narrative to create complex layers of meaning to their work? What do dancers need to be able to do in order to work with choreographers/directors on creating narrative performance?


Invited speakers are:

Heather Caruso – Director/choreographer passionate about integrating the elements of physicality, music & sound, design and text to create fantastical yet accessible worlds for audience and performer alike to explore. Heather trained as an actor and director at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts (Playwrights Horizons Theater School & Experimental Theatre Wing) where she received her BFA in Drama. In New York, she worked extensively in the downtown theatre scene as a performer, creator, stage manager & choreographer including involvement in productions in the New York Fringe Festival and the New York Musical Theatre Festival. She then left the familiar streets of New York and the theatre to earn her MFA in Choreography at Roehampton University in London where she’s stayed ever since!  Founding nylon theatre in 2011 with Amy Watson, her choreography has been performed at The Place’s Resolution! Festival (2013), and she has co-created and performed Every Way Up Has Its Way Down at Rich Mix (London, 2013), Accidental Festival (Roundhouse, Camden, 2014), JW3 (London, 2014) and most recently at the Brighton Fringe Festival (May 2015).  As an educator, Heather merges her theatre background with her contemporary dance training to create workshops that develop dancers to explore text and acting frameworks, and actors to expand their physical range.

Sally Marie – Since her training at Central School of Ballet, Sally Marie has performed extensively with Protein Dance and Sean Tuan John, as well Jasmin Vardimon, Tilted Productions, Duckie at the Barbican, H2, Lulu’s Living Room, Rajni Shah, Deja Donne in Italy, Frauke Requart, IJAD, Geoff Moore, Gary Stevens, and Ridiculussmuss. She has twice been voted Best Female Performer by Dance Europe, as well as nominated for a Spotlight Award 2008 and Best Female Performer in the National Dance Awards, 2009 and 2011. She was also awarded the New Adventures Choreography Award 2013 and The Children’s Choreography Award 2014, which was a Sadler’s Wells/ Place commission in collaboration with MOKO Dance and Company of Angels. The ensuing piece I am 8 was performed at The Place and Lilian Baylis Sadler’s Wells in February this year. Through her own company, Sweetshop Revolution, Sally has directed two solos; The Extra being performed at The Linbury, Royal Opera House. She has also made two full length works. Dulce et Decorum, about women at war and Tree, which was about our relationship to nature as seen through the eyes of four men who find themselves thrown together in the woodland. I loved you and I loved you is her new full length show about the true story of welsh composer Morfydd Owen. It has been funded at research level and now commissioned by Coreo Cymru and funded by Arts Council England. She has also begun mentoring, having qualified as a life coach and has worked recently with Keira Martin and Zoe Parker, as well as assisting in the creation of a new work with Stuart Waters. ‘I came to movement because I was too shy to speak. I stayed with it because I found in it some essential honesty. Movement seems to speak the silence between the full stops that words can never reach.’

After the discussion, there will be an opportunity to network over a drink.

London Studio Centre’s Professional & Research Network brings teachers and lecturers of Dance and Music Theatre together in a series of roundtable discussions with key industry professionals. The Network aims to generate debate about recent developments in the field, employability and creativity, and foster connections between Higher Education and the professional field. The events are hosted three times a year by London Studio Centre at the cultural hub artsdepot in North London, and are curated by Dr Francis Yeoh and Dr Lise Uytterhoeven.

The event is free of charge. Please email Emma Welsh on to reserve your place. For directions to artsdepot, click on