Bodily Education in Modernist Culture - Freedom and Commodification

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The actor’s practice and bodily training during the twentieth century are specifically related not only to different bodily techniques, but also to language, modern society, and the concept of freedom. Nationalism, anti-intellectualism, bodily and vitalistic purism, and a sceptical distance from the modern project at the beginning of the twentieth century serve as a starting point for a discussion about the actor’s body and bodily training. From a critical point of view, phenomena like orientalism, rural escapism, and the amount of bodily techniques in actors’ training in the second half of the twentieth century are juxtaposed with rhetoric about bodily freedom and a consumerism in line with tendencies in the rest of society. The discourse surrounding the concept of bodily
freedom can be seen as a disciplinary project anda commodificationof the body in the present-day marketplace. A contemporary discussion about identities – such as constructions, authenticity, and post-colonialism – might influence actors’ education and make it more individualised, but also increase awareness of values and power relations that are at stake when working with different bodily techniques in such education.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)72-84
JournalTheatre, Dance and Performance Training
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Mar

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Performing Art Studies

Artistic work

  • Text

Free keywords

  • actor's training, bodily techniques, bodily discourses, orientalism, avant-garde, modernism


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