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In this article, the performing body is considered via a three-pronged approach involving affect theory and affective science, a scene from King Lear, and long-distance running. Inspired by the chiaroscuro of painting, this variety and mix of sources act as a methodological device to shed unfamiliar light (and shade) on the elusive topic of affect. While ‘body’ is viewed from the perspective of ‘bodyworld’ to denote constitutive and reciprocally shaping human–nonhuman relationalities, the ‘performance’ that occurs in bodies is analyzed in terms of a ‘drama of affect’ to signal the activity that germinates and circulates at various levels of consciousness in human behaviour, whether aesthetic, athletic, or daily. Frank Camilleri is Professor of Theatre Studies at the University of Malta and Artistic Director of Icarus Performance Project. He has performed, given workshops, and published various texts on performer training, theatre as a laboratory, and practice as research. He is the author of Performer Training Reconfigured: Post-Psychophysical Perspectives for the Twenty-first Century (Bloomsbury, 2019) and Performer Training for Actors and Athletes (Bloomsbury, forthcoming).
A milestone development in a practice-as-research investigation led to the identification of ‘habitational action’ as a term that resists a priori restrictions of inner–outer problematics when discussing performer processes. In this article Frank Camilleri cross-references the term with ‘neutral action’ to locate it conceptually and historically; first with Jacques Lecoq's pedagogical mask work, and then with Yvonne Rainer's conceptualization of the ‘neutral doer’. The cross-referencing to specific theatre and dance contexts is also intended to problematize psychophysicality as a central aspect of current actor training discourse. Frank Camilleri is Associate Professor in Theatre Studies at the University of Malta and Artistic Director of Icarus Performance Project. In 2007 he co-founded Icarus Publishing with Odin Teatret and the Grotowski Institute. He is also Visiting Professor in Theatre and Performance at the University of Huddersfield.
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