Psychophysical Performance and Mindfulness Practice (Deborah Middleton, Franc Chamberlain)
An ongoing exploration of the inter-relationships between mindfulness practices from Buddhist, Yogic, and other Contemplative disciplines and psychophysical training and performance. A conference was held in 2013 with performances, workshops, and presentations from the Centre’s staff, Visiting Professors Phillip Zarrilli and Frank Camilleri, and other guests including Prof. Lee Worley from Naropa University. An informal network, ‘Psychophysical Performance. Mindfulness Practice,’ can be found on Facebook. A related project is Middleton and Chamberlain’s work on First-Person Accounts (http://www.utdl.edu/ojs/index.php/pas/article/view/50).
The Núñez Archive (Deborah Middleton, Franc Chamberlain and Eilon Morris)
An online research resource, compiling documentation of Núñez’s extensive history of workshops and residencies at the University, along with selected transcripts and commentaries. http://www.hud.ac.uk/research/researchcentres/cppr/projects/nunezarchive/
Alexander’s Hierarchical Model of Psychophysicality (Deborah Middleton and Don Weed)
An ongoing exploration of F.M. Alexander’s ideas and insights, and their application within contemporary psychophysical training. This project has to date included a practical investigation into Alexander’s principles as a means of accessing energetic states in Núñez’s Olmeca, and Middleton’s journal article, ‘Cultivating Change’ (The Journal of Theatre, Dance and Performance Training, 2012).
Creativity, Contemplation, Cultivation (Deborah Middleton)
An exploration of the psychophysical bases of meditational and performative modes of ‘cultivation’, and their relationship to enhanced creativity. Aspects of this project have been presented at conferences of the Association for Contemplative Mind in Higher Education in 2011 and 2012. Middleton has also developed a dissemination workshop, ‘The Yoga of Creativity’. She is currently exploring contemplative practices in her own processes of artistic collaboration with the composer Monty Adkins, and with IOU Theatre.
Alba Emoting (Eric Hetzler)
An exploration of the Alba Emoting technique and its place in actor training. First described by Chilean’s Susana Bloch, Pedro Orthous and Guy Santibanez-H, Alba Emoting is a psychophysical approach to the creation of pure emotional states. By learning specific breathing patterns, postural attitudes and facial expressions, practitioners are able to induce emotional states without any kind of particular stimulus like emotion memory. This makes it a very safe method for actors to explore emotional states. In this research, Dr. Hetzler is applying the technique to training in Expressionist performance. He is currently a Level 2 certified practitioner, working towards Level 3.
'Self-With-Others' (John Britton)
A psychophysical approach to training the individual in ensemble. This is a foundational, pre-expressive training that is used with performers from musical, dance, theatrical, improvisatory and other backgrounds. Britton teaches workshops inside and out of professional and educational institutions in the UK, Australia, Germany, Greece, Sweden, Slovenia, France, Portugal, Mexico, China and in 2013 and 2014 it formed the basis of extended visits to India. John is the editor of Encountering Ensemble (Bloomsbury, 2013). The Self-with-Others project is disseminated via a dedicated webpage: http://ensemblephysicaltheatre.wordpress.com
Orbit (Eilon Morris)
A practical exploration of simultaneity and polyrhythm as means of cultivating specific modes of attention, greater qualities of ensemble connectivity, and heightened qualities of performance presence. This work formed part of Morris’s doctoral research (2013). He is now writing a book, ‘Rhythm in Acting and Performance’ (Bloomsbury, 2016).
Espacio Kuu (Karoliina Sandstrom)
Karoliina Sandstrom’s performance training centre in Mexico City is the base for her ongoing exploration of psychophysical training and performance. In 2013/14, a research project, funded by the Swedish Cultural Foundation in Finland, culminated in the performance, Lamapa Perdida. She is currently developing projects with members of the Transdisciplinarity team at the University of Veracruz in Xalapa.
Wild Goose Theatre Laboratory (Tray Wilson and Eilon Morris)
Wilson and Morris’s exploration of psychophysical actor training researches possible meeting points and relationships between the training practices of Phillip Zarrilli and Nicolas Nunez. They are currently working with the two-handed adaptation of The Dybbuk written by Bruce Meyers, and were able to explore the text with him during his recent visit to Huddersfield. Within the performance text are the possibilities to explore ideas around possession, exorcism and ecstasy.
COMPLETED POSTGRADUATE PROJECTS
Karoliina Sandstrom, Self and No-Self: an examination of the role of ideas about the 'self' in actor-training. (2013. Supervisor: Deborah Middleton)
Eilon Morris, Via Rhythmos: rhythm as a tool in psychophysical actor training. (2013. Supervisor: Deborah Middleton)
Laura Haughey, Practical Proprioception: building proprioceptive awareness in physical performers (2013. Supervisor: Deborah Middleton)
Hilary Elliott, The Place From Which I See: the role of vision in understanding solo performance improvisation as a form of composition. (2013. Supervisors: Deborah Middleton and Prof. Vida Midgelow, Middlesex University)