This dissertation explores how the body has been historically constructed as a performing agent in Lecoq-based performance pedagogy through investigating the ways in which the body has been and continues to be a site of contestation--revealing underlying ideas about the "natural", the mechanical and authenticity--within the French mime tradition. I analyze specific classroom practices in Neutral Mask and Clown workshops at the École Philippe Gaulier, and trace themes that emerged back through the French mime tradition of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, when the performed mime figure of Pierrot shifted between a grotesque, scatological clown figure and a sinister, automaton-like stage presence marked by a mask-like white face, alongside a concurrent shift in the gestural style of mime towards a minimalist, subtle gestural style that prefigured the "mime renaissance" in early twentieth-century Paris. I interrogate the complex relationship of the Neutral Mask form to both mechanization (the body as machine) and the natural (the body as free of socialized habits of movement), and the Clown form's relationship to the idea of "authenticity" or the "true self" and this self's connection to the body, analyzing the ways in which "contamination anxieties" manifest in classroom practices of the present. This research addresses the question of how the body is both constructed and mobilized, in dialogue and in tension with normative constructions of the body, within a specific pedagogical context.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. September 2011. Major: Theatre Arts. Advisor:Dr. Sonja Kuftinec. 1 computer file (PDF); iii, 262 pages.
Gates, Laura Purcell.
Tout Bouge [Everything Moves]: the (Re)construction of the body in Lecoq‐based pedagogy..
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