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Despite its great influence in most disciplines of contemporary creation, in the field of the arts it is still a little known genre in its peculiarities, although it has the most potential to revolutionize education today.


What is physical theater?

Physical theater expresses concepts, ideas, and feelings through non-verbal action. The word and the voice are included, being approached in their most emotional and visceral communicative aspects, going beyond their logical meaning. The actress is not only an interpreter, but the author of hers, her own pieces, which are born from her own body as an artistic subject.

The aesthetics of each artist derives from the peculiar characteristics of her own body that determine the uniqueness of her mode of movement and her artistic language. In this context, physical differences and non-normative bodies are seen as a source of creative, aesthetic and ethical richness. It is not a case that was born in the 1960s, artistically collecting the concerns of social movements, feminists, environmentalists and pacifists.

Developing independently of a text, physical theater adopts a variety of scenic languages ​​-clown, mask, objects, video-art, lights, performance, puppets, sound / word- that interact at the same time and are combined according to the needs expressive of each artist, founding the character of their individual aesthetics. Freed from the dramatic repertoire, physical theater adopts collective creation as a methodology for creating new texts based on a topic of common interest. In collective creation, the functions of the theater are horizontally and flexibly distributed, and artistic decisions are negotiated between all members of the group, thus producing a negotiation of a plurality of points of view that often leads to a feature of complexity in the presentation of the staging and its substantive thesis. Independent from the literary Canon, collective creation brings to theater issues that concern us at the community level in the present, even reading the repertoire in light of them.

By putting physical perception at the center of the creative process, theater enhances the body as an autonomous creative subject, capable of expressing its own stories and imaginaries. Representing an oppressed subjectivity, the body is the appropriate place to generate discourses of decolonization, generating situated reflections, rooted in a territory and a point of view. In the educational field, physical theater has the potential to reverse the fundamental colonizing principle that establishes the hierarchical superiority of the mind over the body, promoting the creative union between thought and physical action and putting into play the felt experience as a way of thinking.

Open applications at Folkwang Universität der Künste till 15 November 2021! If you want to move your brain&booty you cant miss it!

It's the best study experience everrrr!

Link here:

Other Physical Theater Schools / Referents in Europe:

Folkwang University of Arts Essen

Jacques Lecoq Paris School

LISPA London

Philip Gaulier School

Familie Flöz

Resad Madrid _Teatro del Gesto

Institut del Teatre_ Barcelona

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Updated: Nov 5, 2021


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Updated: Sep 28, 2021

M A N I F E S T O ​

Performative Education is an epistemic project that consists in building and nurturing a new concept capable of individualizing the specific contribution of theater and performance to General Education and of defining its autonomous space within Artistic Education, alongside of the Visual, Plastic and Audiovisual Education, and within the Performing Arts, next to the Choreutic and Musical Education. On the European scene, theater and performance are the only art that is not represented in the compulsory public curriculum, with the exception of the city of Hamburg in Germany. Even in the fabulous Scandinavian pedagogical contexts, theater is the prerogative of auxiliary programs ultimately dependent on private funds.

We investigate and fight to build the theoretical foundations and the necessary evidence so that one day Performative Education will have its own space as a compulsory subject in European public curricula. The initiative aims to promote the presence of theater and performance as pedagogical practices and as methodologies for creative bodily learning, situated knowledge and decolonial exercise within general education. In dialogue with public institutions and with general and artistic education professionals, we design intervention programs in compulsory general education and teacher training in Performative Education, to expand access to theater pedagogy and democratic participation in its creative tools. We seek to promote the interaction of the theater with the school, understanding the school context not as a place of exhibition or audience development, but as a laboratory for the co-creation of knowledge and art through performance. We consider that the pedagogical turn in the performative arts has an interest

We also defend the symbolic and concrete space of the theater -traditionally invisible or marginalized- within the movement of vindication of art and education, in alliance with all the arts. We want to clarify that the theater has a methodological autonomy within the performing arts and respect for the visual arts and within the performing arts. Therefore, we vindicate the need for educational institutions to implement theater programs led or co-led by professionals who have specific training in both pedagogy and theater research, without detriment - but quite the opposite - of the performing arts. In addition, we propose the need to build a regulated academic path in theater pedagogy as a prerequisite for access to the teaching of both specialty subjects within the Performing Arts Baccalaureate, currently taught by literature teachers.

We are interested in theater as a tool for developing other forms of knowing, affective, active, and criticism based on the body. We contrast the dominant pedagogical vision of theater as a mere instrument to improve public speaking, the ability to speak in public or as entertainment. We believe that it responds to a reductive and instrumental mentality about art, which puts the mind above the body and the word above experience. This mentality is the same responsible for the progressive exclusion of the arts from the compulsory system and it supports the current tendency of the educational system to discriminate between series A subjects, those that develop cognitive / calculation / verbal skills, and series subjects B- who develop creative/socio-affective capacities. This type of epistemic and pedagogical discrimination reproduces the mechanism of reification of bodily knowledge that traditionally belongs to minorities as marginated and of knowledge related to nature as "resource", which informs the value system of the current colonial and extractivist culture.

By recognizing theater as a form of bodily and creative thinking in action, an unmatched methodological basis is opened in order to design learning devices that promote decolonization and the construction of more sensitive, complex and creative attitudes towards society as a whole and the environment. We want to redefine the pedagogical value of theater to expand access to a powerful tool when integrating the body as a subject of fair and creative knowledge in education, and as a reliable response to the instance of eco-social innovation of the present culture starting with education.

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