Movement Training for the Modern Actor

By Mark Evans

© 2009 – Routledge

224 pages

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9780415883955
pub: 2010-06-18
US Dollars$54.95
Hardback: 9780415963671
pub: 2008-12-11
US Dollars$145.00

About the Book

This book is the first critical analysis of the key principles and practices informing the movement training of actors in the modern era. Focusing on the cultural history of modern movement training for actors, Evans traces the development of the ‘neutral’ body as a significant area of practice within drama school training and the relationship between movement pedagogy and the operation of discipline and power in shaping the professional identity of the actor.

The volume looks in detail at the influence of the leading figures in movement training — Laban, Alexander, Copeau and Lecoq — on twentieth century professional actor training, and is informed by interviews with students and staff at leading English drama schools. Mark Evans re-evaluates the significance of movement training in the professional drama school, offering a new understanding of the body as a site for performative resistance to industrialization. Despite the publication of a number of ‘how to’ books on movement training for the professional acting student, this is the first text to look behind the curtain and write the unseen biography of the actor’s body.


'Including a comprehensive bibliography, this heavily annotated study is a must read for those who teach dance and movement… Highly recommended.' - CHOICE

'Extremely well researched… The book gives a positive message about the movement training of actors and should make students feel excited about this aspect of training.' - Teaching Drama

'Evan's writing style is accessible and the questions he raises are enlightening, relevant and often surprising' - Youth Drama Ireland

'As the first critical study of movement in actor training, this is a highly informative, ground-breaking textbook which rounds up an extensive range of theories about what movement training is and does as a set of practices, while simultaneously interrogating the politics of the body.' - Dymphna Callery, New Theatre Quarterly

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments Introduction: Movement Training for Actors Chapter One: Educating Efficient Labor for the Acting Profession Chapter Two: The ‘Neutral’ Body, the ‘Natural’ Body and Movement Training for Actors Chapter Three: Movement Training for Actors and the Docile Body Chapter Four: Movement Training and the Unruly Body Conclusion: Overview and Projections Bibliography Index

About the Author

Mark Evans is Associate Dean of the Coventry School of Art and Design at Coventry University. He recently published Jacques Copeau (Routledge Performance Practitioners series, 2006).

About the Series

Routledge Advances in Theatre & Performance Studies

This series is our home for cutting-edge, upper-level scholarly studies and edited collections. Considering theatre and performance alongside topics such as religion, politics, gender, race, ecology, and the avant-garde, titles are characterized by dynamic interventions into established subjects and innovative studies on emerging topics.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PERFORMING ARTS / Acting & Auditioning
PERFORMING ARTS / Theater / History & Criticism