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date: 16 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter traces how the histories and practices of physical theater and postmodern dance have intertwined. While these two traditions share a focus on training performers and creating new work, the chapter articulates how their similarities reflect a deeper preoccupation with forging the performer’s agency in the creative process. It looks at the pedagogy of Jacques Lecoq, the SITI company, Judson Dance Theater, and The Grand Union to explain how techniques like improvisation, composition, and showing the strings realize these traditions’ aims to increase the performer’s agency in training, creation, and performance. By recasting the notion of virtuosity from the perfection of technical skill to flexibility and productivity within the creative process itself, these diverse artists carve out a body-based path to aesthetic agency.

Keywords: physical theater, postmodern dance, devising, SITI, Lecoq, Judson, actor training, dance training, somatic

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