Date(s) - 25/02/2022 - 27/02/2022
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N.B. this conference will be held across TWO venues –
Paper Presentations and Teaching Demonstrations will be held on 25,26 February 2022 at The American College of Greece, Black Box Theatre, 6 Gravias Street GR-153 42 Aghia Paraskevi, Greece, and,
on 26,27 February 2022 at University of Winchester, UK, – Sparkford Road Winchester Hampshire SO22 4NR. Enter Paul Chamberlain Studios and online 25-27 February 2022
International Conference: Rhythm in Body on Stage
The Return Beat – Interfacing with Our Interface.
25th-27th February 2022.
Rhythm in Acting Practice is an International Conference held under the auspices of The Makings of the Actor, the American College of Greece, the Labanarium, organized by Dr Olu Taiwo , with the support of Post-doctoral Researcher Dr Kiki Selioni, Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, University of London.
The Makings of the Actor is organizing a series of conferences based on books from international research practitioners discussing in theory and presenting in practice their works. Practitioners’ books are always a difficult task due to the struggle they have transferring practice into the written form of a book. Although there is always the possibility of recorded documentation with regards to practical work however this is unsatisfactory for practitioners to present their work in a complete way. Current practices like webinars offers a better understanding but still there is no immediate communication that can offer debates, questions and finally exchange of knowledge.
This Conference is part of a series of international events under the aegis of The Makings of the Actor. The mission of The Makings of the Actor project is to gather international practitioners and researchers, from diverse fields of performance practice and scholarship, to develop and disseminate (through conferences and workshops) an evolving performance pedagogy that addresses the needs of present and future actors.
The Event will be held as a Blended (Hybrid) Conference
In recognition of both the global reach of this theme and the expansive network of interested practitioners and scholars, as well as the impact of the current pandemic, participants are invited to take part either in person or virtually. Conference proceedings will be live-streamed; papers, and where appropriate workshops and demonstrations, can be presented remotely.
Assoc. Prof. Ramune Baleviciute, PhD, Vice-Rector for Art and Research of the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre
Dr Olu Taiwo, Senior Lecturer in Performing Arts, Department in Performing Arts, University of Winchester, UK.
Dr. Olu Taiwo in his book: The Return Beat- Interfacing with Our Interface, A Spiritual Approach to the Golden Triangle, coined the term Return Beat refering to a metaphysical experience of West African Rhythm, from a performer-centred approach. This approach draws attention to modes of rhythmic perceptions that highlights certain shared resonant experiences in a group that are cyclical in nature. The Golden triangle refers to the use of rhythm through: Song/spoken word, dance/movement, percussion/drumming. These perceptions are then used as a starting point to discuss individual and cultural practices of ‘being’, ‘becoming’ and ‘performance’ as part of a perception underpinned by a plethora of living forces on planet Earth. Principally, the Return Beat is a rhythmic paradigm that underpins the embodied knowledge of both Pan African people, in other words people who live on the African continent and people of the Pan African cultural Diaspora, who are people of African descent living outside the continent. This knowledge informs the creation and production of temporal space and underpinning its traditional fractal aesthetic. Fractal aesthetics is defined here, as an exponent of a binary fractal aesthetic that is underpinned by the bifurcation of a single pathway with regards to the agency concerning the life of biological systems. It observes the twinning process require for living being to propagate. To clarify, there is a distinction between ‘aesthetics’ and ‘agency’ with reference to the bifurcation of a single pathway.
- Aesthetics refers to the total field of pathways exemplified by the images of chaos generated by the Mandelbrot set as a whole
- Agency refers to the result of choice and the ability to choose
The Return beat articulates a specific cultural experience of tempo and its flow within any given rhythm; which is the nature of the beat itself.The Return beat draws attention to the spaces between the beats as well as where the beats occur, as experienced by our physical journal.The concept of the Physical Journal advances a way of conceptualizing living bodies, from the perspective of a practitioner’s lived experience; thisbeing our lived, living and future body’s embodied knowledge and memory. The proposed concepts, underpinned by embodied memories both genetic and cultural,emerge from lived experiences informed by movements derived from a performer’s body in its process of change and development. These memories neurologically construct a kind of virtual body, which is holo-graphically projected as spatialized memory as the Physical Journal, helping living bodies to write and rewrite itself. The resonant embodied understanding of the Return Beat is experienced as a curve leading back to the individual’s sense of self, being and awareness. By echoing the metabolic circular rhythm of our heartbeat, we create an outgoing (centrifugal) and a returning (centripetal) experience pertaining to the duration between repetitive beats. These beats are perceived to emerge from visceralpathways in our embodied experience. Western assumption of repetition as being a static process in duration,subjugated the Yoruba perspective by ridiculing the transformative potential of repetition, reducing what is rhythmically repetitious to something which is unevolved and predictable. Through this lens, the concept of a Return Beat with notionsof returning to the same experience in distributed regions of space, can produceembodied fears of stagnation. However, if we move away from a static perceptions of temporal space, a perceptual hangover from dualism in the Enlightenment, to a more dynamic perception that includes the living body, then repetition does not unfold in stasis but inpulses and waves.
In light of this, the book explores how trans-cultural aleatoric performance practices that embody and explore rhythms withinthe performer’s physical journal (embodied memory and inter-cultural knowledge)within a given temporal space, can nurture an embodied ability to improvise with awide range of effort qualities and movement phrases. It postulates that performances produced with thisawareness will mean that the performer will have to be rhythmically intuitive with ahigh degree of self-co-ordinating intelligence.
Intercultural fragments are drawn fromdifferent cultural discourses that paradoxically co-exist independently with, as well asbeing fused and transformed by, each other. In addition to this rhythmic intelligence, we,as performing artists, can freestyle (improvise/invent) and choreograph within new interactiveand performative structures with the use of remote, interactive and informationtechnologies, to create and communicate new effort shades and performative relationships.
Taking The Return Beat – Interfacing with Our Interface as both a framework and provocation, this conference will delve into its various themes and practices, offering a platform for practitioner and scholars to share and reflect on their perspectives and insights into rhythm within acting and performance. Through presentations, work demonstrations and discussions, we will explore common themes as well as differing understandings and approaches to rhythm in this field.
We welcome submissions from practitioners and scholars including acting/voice/movement/dance teachers, acting coaches, theatre and performance practitioners, actors, directors, dancers, choreographers, playwrights/script writers, film directors/makers, composers, training practitioners, designers,theatre and dance researchers and academic researchers within various aspects of practice and performance theory.
Using the chapters of the Return Beat as a framework for this conference, the themes and practices this event seeks to address include, but are not limited to:
- Culture and Rhythm
- Body and technology
- Music and technology
- Rhythm in spoken word/voice studies
- Choreology (Laban Studies)
- Rhythm and well-being
- Neurological experience of rhythm
- Theatre and rhythm
- Philosophy,Aesthetics and Rhythm
- Choreography and Rhythm
- Rhythm in cinema
- Rhythm in emotion and inner life
For papers, please send your abstract of 200 words for your oral presentation in Word doc form, including title, institutional affiliation, your brief CV and email address. The paper presentations will be 20 min, followed by a 10 min discussion with the audience/participants. We accept submissions for online paper presentations.
Submissions of teaching demonstrations must be in English and can be up to 4 pages (including references and figures) in a word doc form, including title, institutional affiliation, your brief cv and email address. The first 2 pages are expected to describe your approach. The third and fourth pages are expected to be used for images, references, and technical requirements. You can expect wireless network access. 4-6 students will be provided for all accepted demonstrations. The demonstrations allow practitioners/researchers to demonstrate their works in teaching in a dedicated session of 90-150 min., followed by a 20 min discussion with the audience/participants. We accept submissions for online teaching demonstrations.
Acceptance Notification: 27th January 2022
Paper Presentations and Teaching Demonstrations will be held on 25,26 February 2022 at The American College of Greece, Black Box Theatre, 6 Gravias Street GR-153 42 Aghia Paraskevi, Greece,
on 26,27 February 2022 at University of Winchester Sparkford Road Winchester Hampshire SO22 4NR Enter Paul Chamberlain Studios
and online 25-27 February 2022
If an official invitation is required earlier for research funding purposes, please contact
Info@themakingsactor.com and Kiki.Selioni@cssd.ac.uk and ensure that you submit your abstract as early as possible.
Paper presentations, teaching demonstrations, workshops will be held between 25 and 27 February 2021
Conference Registration fees:
All those attending the conference will be given a discount code for ordering their own copy of Return Beat .
Paper presentations fees: 120€
Teaching Demonstration fees:
90 min. 200€
120 min. 220€
150 min. 250€
Attendants fees: 70€
Student & unwaged fees: 50€
Friday 25th February 2022 13.00-15.00
*Please note, all the timings are based on local time in Athens, Greece.
Embodied Reflections on Rhythm
Facilitated by Dr. Maira Milolidaki Soprano, performer, vocal and repertoire coach, speech pedagogue Frances Rich School of Fine and Performing Arts Deree – The American College of Greece
In this two-hour workshop we will be exploring the phenomenon of rhythm in its triunemanifestation within a holistically embodied approach to performance practice:rhythmic patterns and motifs are shaped through the activation of our breathing, the projection of our voice and our ability to receive any text as an unlimited, imaginative soundscape.
Deree students will demonstrate their physical and vocal work process in order to map their response to a material of their choice
A versatile and prominent soprano, Maira Milolidakistudied classical singing at the Athens Conservatoire. As a scholar of the Onassis Foundation, she pursued her vocal studies in Milan, Italy, and in Rome with Renata Scotto (Opera Studio, National Academy of Santa Cecilia). She has also studied theatre and the art of performance (Drama school Εmpros – Ergastiri).
As an active performer she offers a repertoire that ranges from baroque to modern. Her appearances in concerts and staged productions include the National Theater of Greece, the Greek National Opera, the Accademia di Santa Cecilia (Rome), the Teatro dal Verme (Milan), the Carnegie Hall (New York), the Theater Festival AndriyivskyFest in Kiev, the Athens and Epidaurus Festival, the Jazz Club Half Note. As a recording artist, she collaborates with the avant-garde electronic sound designer Constantine Skourlis, creating experimental music for internationally acclaimed theatre and dance performances. Human voice as a unified whole is her inspirational motivation. Over the years of practice, she keeps moving across disciplines, developing embodied voice research through advanced artistic projects; as a member of the Music Theatre Company Eutopia, she uses the solid grounding of her classical training to explore the dialogue of the singing voice with various art forms, engaging with new ways to encourage vocal improvisation within contemporary performances. She has been involved in vocal pedagogy for the last 15 years. Both her professional experience and the latest developments in voice studies are part of her teaching; she regularly participates in workshops and conferences that inform her methods, such as the Estill Voice Training and the Acting Method by Th. Terzopoulos.
She has a PhD in semiotics from Sorbonne – Paris 4 and a Law degree from University of Athens.
Saturday and Sunday 17.00-20.00
*Please note, all the timings are based on local time in Athens, Greece.
Return Beat Interfacing with our Interface
Facilitated by Dr.Olu Taiwo Dr Olu Taiwo, Senior Lecturer in Performing Arts, Department in Performing Arts, University of Winchester, UK.