The University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NZ, T +44 (0)1227 764000
Tradition and Innovation: Britain/Russia
Training for Performance
THIS PROJECT HAS NOW FINISHED.
For more information, please contact Paul Allain
Professor of Theatre and Performance, Paul Allain has received an International Research Network Leverhulme Grant for furthering staff and research links with the Moscow Art Theatre School (MXAT), in a two year project which began in September 2008. This will build on Drama's successful student exchange which is now in its fifth year, and will be part of the European Theatre Research Network's activities.
Through establishing a network for mutual exchange between the University of Kent and MXAT, we aim to ask two interrelated questions:
- What can we in Britain learn from MXAT staff regarding the ethics of training, the role of a long-standing tradition, and how training relates to professional performance in Europe today?
- What can Russian academics and teachers learn from our innovations, creativity and diversity in both the academic field and in the profession?
A video excerpt from Electa Behrens' Voice Masterclass with 3rd year MXAT students in May 2009
Powerpoint slides from a lecture:
Theatre Audiences in New Russia (ppt) by Alexander Ushkarev, Departmental Head of Production at the Moscow Arts Theatre School, given at the University of Kent on Monday 17 May 2010.
If you are interested to know more, please contact Alexander
Photo Gallery from In the Body: Movement for Actors Symposium here.
A symposium coorganised by Professor Paul Allain from the University of Kent's School of Arts, and Struan Leslie, Head of Movement at the RSC, with the support of The Leverhulme Trust and the RSC's Artists' Development.
Biographies of participants
Frances Barbe visited MXAT as part of the exchange in November 2009. Here is an extract from her report:
What an inspiring experience. Moscow is really different to any other city I’ve been to. It was a real privilege to be there as part of something so important as the Moscow Arts Theatre School, where I was made to feel very welcome. The exchange programme seems so far to have generated some wonderful curiosity amongst staff and students there for how their work relates to and is distinctive from what’s going on elsewhere.
I expected to feel the distinctions and differences between what goes on there and what I do. But I was surprised to find that when you look at the deep processes at work, we are all engaged in finding ways to be convincing on stage, (whatever the style of the performance).
In observing movement classes, particularly stage combat and fencing, I saw how closely integrated these classes are with the art and craft of acting. There was no sense of movement as an added extra, it was a crucial, integrated element of their training that was constantly related back to the work of the actor and an ensemble.
In May 2009, ten students from the Kent drama department visited the Moscow Art Theatre. Their packed programme included observation/movement workshops with Professor Fedorova; the Michael Chekhov technique with Professor Lobanov; acting with Professor Rezalin and Theatre History with Doctor Smeliansky, rector of MXAT.
They also saw a variety of performances by MXAT students in the studio theatre.
Earlier in the year, Professor Fedorova, actor and director Oleg Topliansky and movement director and actor Vladimir Sazhin visited the University of Kent to take part in the Symposium – Training for Performance/Tradition and Innovation as well as observing classes and performances by students.
This bibliography is an introductory collection of texts available in English on contemporary Russian theatre. It is not comprehensive but meant to provide some starting points for further study and research.
The Cambridge Companion to Chekhov. Eds. Vera Gottlieb and Paul Allain. Cambridge University Press, 2000.
The Modern Russian Theater - A Literary and Cultural History
Author(s): Nicholas Rzhevsky more
List Price: £68.50
(more to come)
For more information, please email Jo Tuffs or phone on 01227 827099