Phillip Zarrilli is known not only for his psychophysical approach to acting but also for his embodied practice as research. He uses his embodied practice as means to explore and inquire into performance knowledge and theory. His theatre projects and academic publications are the outcome of his extensive embodied practices and field works. His projects advance the idea of “embodied knowledge” and pose a challenge to the Americanized Stanislavski’s system or any system that privileges either mind or body only. In order to have a firm grasp of Zarrilli’s vision, commitment, and enterprise, this project intends to address this mode of embodied knowledge and its derivative theatre projects that Zarrilli has engaged. Meanwhile, it proposes to assess the potential impact of such practice-based research within the discipline of performance studies. This project by design is a three-year project. Of all the layers of themes and issues, I intend to deal with three unique aspects of Zarrilli’s undertakings and find viable ways to have a better understanding of the role of “embodied practice as research” in Zarrilli’s performance theory, theatre practice, and actor training method. In my first-year project──entitled “The Embodied Psychophysical Practice as Research in Gitanjali Kolanad and Phillip Zarrilli’s Two Collaborative Dance Pieces—Walking Naked (2000) and The Flowering Tree (2006)”──I focus on scrutinizing Zarrilli’s collaboration with bharatanatyam dancer/choreographer Gitanjali Kolanad. I propose to look into the embodied psychophysical practices during the developing processes of the two dance pieces Walking Naked (2000) and The Flowering Tree (2006). I will argue that the two dance pieces are at once the derivative results of Kolanad and Zarrilli’s practice-led research and research-led practice. This project by design is a three-year project. In my third-year project──entitled “A Comparative Study of the Two Performance Versions of The Water Station (Mizu no eki) Respectively by ?ta Sh?go and Phillip Zarrilli”──I propose to examine and compare the different evocative treatments that ?ta Sh?go and Zarrilli employ to realize the bodymind in action in The Water Station. We can see that ?ta’s minimalist aesthetic is unique in its own way, while Zarrilli insists on applying his psychophysical training and its principles to stage The Water Station and to help his actors to perform the paradoxical state of standing still while not standing still. Methodologically speaking, in this project, I believe a Foucauldian-informed many-faceted & multi-tasking methodology of yogic—ayurvedic—energetic— conscious—“practice as research”—thick descriptive—interweaving discourse analysis is heuristic, seminal, and instrumental in researching the three sub-projects that I have identified in this project because Zarrilli’s psychophysical approach to acting is at once a practice-doing-being method and a discursive event caught up and entwined with the questions of writing, energetics, embodiment, practice as research, (non)representation, (inter)culture, (multi)ethnicity, theatre fieldwork, academic power/knowledge relations, emergent disciplines in performance studies, and discourse formation.
|Effective start/end date||2017/08/01 → 2021/07/31|
- practice as research
- Phillip Zarrilli
- psychophysical approach
- The Water Station
- Ōta Shōgo
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