How Do We Use The Body? Examinations of (Dis)comfort (Body and Being Network Event, Oxford, 25 November 2014)

“One way of approaching the phenomenology of the actor is to consider him as a kind of storyteller whose speciality is that he is the story he is telling.” – From The Actor’s Presence: Three Phenomenal Modes by Bert O. States

A performer’s body, as the cliché has it, is his or her instrument. For the second event of the Body And Being Network, Charles Adrian Gillott will share the sometimes difficult experience of learning to inhabit the body and will explore the connection between self-consciousness and stage presence. He will examine what it means for a performer to be ‘present’ and will ask whether it is possible to share that experience with others.

Participants will be given the chance to reflect on how it feels to observe a performer in action and will be encouraged to actively inhabit their own bodies. No previous experience is required.

Charles Adrian Gillott is a performer, writer and podcaster who has worked for much of the last ten years with physical and textual improvisation. He is a key member of Berlin-based theatre ensemble Nico And The Navigators, an associate artist of the UK’s saltpeter productions and a winner, in his own right, of a Mervyn Stutter Spirit Of The Fringe Award at this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe. He has trained with performance improvisation practitioners such as Andrew Morrish and John Britton and is interested in the ways in which our awareness of our own bodies can be used as a starting point for communication.

The Body and Being Network is a new research initiative that aims to develop innovative interdisciplinary dialogues about the body. Co-founded by Karin Eli (University of Oxford) and Anna Lavis (University of Birmingham), the network instigates and supports collaborative encounters between scholars and performance artists, and challenges participants to develop analyses that involve their own embodied experiences.

‘How Do We Use The Body? Examinations of (Dis)comfort’ will take place on 25 November, 6.00pm-7.30pm, at the Jacqueline du Pré Building, St Hilda’s College, Oxford. There will be refreshments and informal discussion afterwards. Attendance is free, but please write to the Body and Being Network to RSVP by 21 November. This event is generously supported by a research award from St Hilda’s College, Oxford.

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