Nov
27
3:00pm 3:00pm

Contemporary Art, the Modern and Historicity

By Prof C. J. W.-L. Wee (Singapore)

What is the place of contemporary art forms from the 1980s within the present global dispensation? The cultural critic, Fredric Jameson, has commented that the 1980s “seem to mark the end of the modern in all kinds of ways, from communications technologies and industry all the way to forms of art”.

Do all forms of contemporary art inevitably embody this “end of temporality” that, Jameson argues, is endemic to a general condition of postmodernity? This presentation will suggest that the contemporary of contemporary art in our region is less a period style, and more differing artistic responses in various (though linked) contexts of desired economic growth to the end of temporality as a situation.

Examined through the theatre practices of acclaimed theatre-makers, Singapore’s Kuo Pao Kun (1939 - 2002) and Malaysia’s Krishen Jit (1939 - 2005), and concludes with consideration of the intercultural theatre of Ong Keng Sen (b.1964).

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Nov
27
4:30pm 4:30pm

“Mobilize” or Else: Revisiting and Updating Interculturalism

By Prof Tadashi Uchino (Japan)

Both information and capital move in a blink, paying no attention to national borders. To say so would understandably be taken as a cliché, but it is becoming clear that not only information and capital but also artists, like globalising postcolonial entrepreneurs before them, have started to move, paying no attention to national borders. Is this something positive? Or something we reluctantly accept after the fact? Uchino refers to intercultural performance projects, discussing some vital issues emerging around the notion of interculturalism that has to be revisited and updated in this age of enhanced sense of mobility.

 

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Nov
28
9:00am 9:00am

Beyond "actoral calligraphy"

By Alberto Ruiz Lopez (Mexico/Singapore) 

In a world that presents an irregular, discontinuous and diverse reality, it becomes necessary for an artist to not only dominate the "acting calligraphy", but to be interested in the content of what "writes on the scene." It means not only conforming to the mastery of technique, but also generating an artistic process that faces reality; an artist who takes the spectator (audience) not only to the enjoyment of the beauty, but also stimulates the freedom of his imagination.

It is an artistic process that is not only focused on the individual skills of the artist but encourages "why not" - a collective process recognising the power of reception of the spectator (audience) in order for the theatrical phenomenon to occur, without trying to impose labels or hegemonic categories.

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Nov
28
11:00am11:00am

From Form to Formless : Constructing a Conscious Mind 

By Andy Ng (Hong Kong)

What does physical form mean to an actor? It presents as a skill, yet it also imposes a physical limitation on the actor.

What does a theatrical idea mean to an actor? It presents as an aesthetic and skillful demand, yet it also easily demarcates him from experiencing alternative.
Traditional theatrical forms have their own cultural reasons; modern acting training underlines the same meaning, only that it is shaped by the pursuance of a director or directors.

Is it possible for actor training to be done by an actor him/herself? If so, what does the training means to the actor?

Reflecting on his personal training at Theatre Training and Research Practice (ITI's former name), Andy seeks to explain what formal training means to a person and to show the relationship between the conscious mind, the doing, and the multi-self of an actor.

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Nov
28
2:30pm 2:30pm

Revaluing Identities - National, Regional and the Global

By Abhilash Pillai (India)

Though working for a national institution and play-directing or theatre-making for different institutions and companies, Abhilash is also seen within a visuality of a regional Kerala locale. As he works to evolve a visual language with actors and designers through exercises and improvisations - trying to define a methodology for visual language - this process has also raised the question: if scenography has a process in place similar to acting ones. Are these processes also institutionalised? How much space do we give to the student’s ideas or historical forces, which shape our own conception of spatiality? Through this presentation session, Abhilash will attempt to re-value his practice-research with a strong critical perspective and examine it as a representative example which captures anomalies and contradictions as well, raises questions of a visual language in a global context.

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Nov
29
9:00am 9:00am

Theatre of Essence

By Themis Lin Pei-Ann and Chongtham Jayanta Meetei (Taiwan/India)

The nature of this work is to share the process in the making of a performer - in relation to his/her emotions and muscles within the human body. The methodology for this demonstration will be deeply inspired by Bharata's Natya Shastra and some common performance techniques of Asian traditions. Almost all the Asian performance traditions use repetition of movement of muscles as training to achieve a sense of belief, which essentially leads to a level of deep reflective thought as a kind of contemplation. This cogitation frees a performer to explore, improvise, and develop the form/style of performance.

In this session, a brief demo on how to control muscles and emotions in relation to breathing will be shared. We will be indicating a breathing technique inspired from yoga and emotions explored through the Rasa theory in Natya Shastra. Only when a performer realises and understands their breathing that s/he starts sensing her/his presence. The realisation of breathing makes the body muscles gain a deeper link of emotions. Through the repetition of breathing, we generate different emotions with the same intensities; we will show how to achieve control of mind, soul, and body on stage.

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Nov
29
11:00am11:00am

What Are You Working On? : The NYT Actors' Work

By Nelson Chia (Singapore)

"What are you working on?" This is a question that surfaces most frequently in Nine Years Theatre's long-term practice and research on actor training. It suggests the need to articulate precisely the work that is being done by the actor at a given moment. Through the years, this research has revealed to us various ideas and aspects of performance that an actor can practise in order to achieve clarity on stage. Since 2016, we have begun to consolidate and develop these findings into what we call the NYT Actors’ Work. This session will be a brief introduction to some of these works, including a focus on the work on Fiction.

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Nov
29
2:30pm 2:30pm

Deconstruct and Reimagine

By Seng Soo Ming (Malaysia)

Deconstruct the classics, reimagine the reality – this is the basic premise of the works of PITaPAT Theatre at this stage of practice. The meeting of classics and reality creates conflict, from the emergence of different times, cultures, and languages. Hence, it leads to the necessity of creating new forms of staging and acting to drive it. At the same time, it liberates the interpretation and creative approaches upon both classics and reality, and the actors regain the power of creating and responding to classic plays according to their own experience. That is what we are looking for. 

Insights and explanations will be drawn from PITaPAT's recent works, An Enemy of the People.At the Moment and Kakak

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Nov
30
9:00am 9:00am

The Difference Butoh Makes: Skills and Creativity Training for the Contemporary Actor-Creator

By Frances Barbe (Australia)

This work-demonstration explores butoh-inspired structures for improvisation intended to assist performers in skills training and creative processes. It presents exercises as opportunities for self-observation and the chance to expand range. It also considers butoh’s potential for uncovering the complexity of the interaction at the heart of theatre and performance between a performer’s inner-world, their chosen outer-form and their spectator’s meaning-making mechanism

  • What does it mean to be “convincing” or “authentic” in performance, particularly in heightened and non-naturalistic work? 

  • What does butoh, which arose from dance-trained pioneers, have to offer the contemporary theatre actor in terms of psycho-physical skills and creativity?
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Nov
30
11:00am11:00am

To Gather. Together.

By Li Xie (Singapore)

In the face of rapid changes, individualism and uncertainties, how do we gather as a community? How do we create collectively and disagree respectfully?

How do we as artists, relinquish control and let the audience decide THEIR theatre, as we stand with them?

This interactive work demo will illustrate the process and flexible adaptation of The Lesson - an immersive and participatory social performance (first presented by Drama Box at Singapore International Festival of the Arts 2016). Created by Li Xie and team, The Lesson has since toured Taiwan and Rotterdam.

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Nov
30
2:30pm 2:30pm

Connecting the Five Senses in the Actor Training of Theatre

By Gopalan Nair Venu and Kapila Venu (India)

“The objects of your ‘inner attention’ are scattered through the whole range of your five senses” – says Konstantin Stanislavsky in his treatise An Actor Prepares. The assimilation through the five senses in acting has been a unique aspect of the training methodology that was followed in Kerala, especially at the Kodungallur Kalari; that it had not been mentioned in Natyasastra makes it more exceptional. However, Balaramabharatham, the treatise on dance composed by Maharaja Kartika Tirunal Balaramavarma contains references to the association between acting and the five senses.


We review an acting exercise connecting the five senses developed by us at Natanakairali based on all the available documents for the teaching method of Navarasa Sadhana. 

For the last decade, the Abhinaya Kalari of Natanakairali at Irinjalakuda had been witnessing the efforts to introduce the Navarasa Sadhana as a mandatory part of the actors’ daily practice/training. Many dancers and actors from various fields of performance working within both India and abroad have already been imparted the primary training in this system. Efforts are continuing on this work.

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