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The Routledge Companion to Jacques Lecoq

Posted By Rick Kemp, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Monday, March 10, 2014
Call for Chapter Proposals
The Routledge Companion to Jacques Lecoq
Editors: Mark Evans (Coventry University, UK)
and Rick Kemp (Indiana University of Pennsylvania, USA)

This book, currently under consideration by Routledge, is proposed with the support and involvement of the École internationale de théâtre Jacques Lecoq. It will be the first major attempt to provide a comprehensive guide to Jacques Lecoq's work in at least ten years. Lecoq is one of the most influential international theatre pedagogues of the last fifty years, and yet remarkably little has been written about his work. In line with the general format of Routledge Companion volumes, this new book will contain multiple chapters written by different authors about various aspects of Lecoq’s life, teaching, and legacy. The book is intended to be a comprehensive and authoritative survey of Lecoq’s work. Offering a breadth and depth of analysis that builds on and augments the limited number of previous texts on Lecoq (Murray 2003 and Chamberlain & Yarrow 2001), this book will offer a contemporary critical analysis of the significance of Lecoq’s work as well as placing his practice within a wider historical, cultural and philosophical context.

The structure of the book will be as follows.

After a general introduction that will include a biography, the first section “Context, Influences, and Practice” is intended to give the reader information about the social context within which Lecoq began his work, as well as specific influences and accounts of his early work before founding the school. The following chapters have already been proposed for this section:
· Jacques Lecoq and the Crisis of Acting in Modernism, 1944-1968 (Bruce McConachie, University of Pittsburgh)
· The influence of sport on 20th Century theatre (Mark Evans, Coventry University)
· Outside the Mainstream: Studios, Laboratories and Ateliers (Tom Cornford, University of York, UK)

The second section “Pedagogy” will include chapters devoted to specific subjects of the school’s curriculum, with a contextualisation of how they developed over time. Chapters already proposed for this section include:
· The Neutral Mask (Dody DiSanto, former teacher at the Lecoq School, Director, Center for Movement Theatre, Washington DC.
· The full-face mask: expressive, larval, utilitarian (David Gaines, former teacher at Lecoq School, Paris)
· Tragedy: the hero, the chorus, the tribune. (Shona Morris, Drama Centre, London)

In the third section “Cultural Connections and Pedagogic Legacy” we hope to address the way in which Lecoq’s teachings fit into the wider picture of trends in twentieth century theatre, and to look at the way in which they are carried on, both at the school and by former students who teach as part of companies or in other schools. This section already includes the following chapters:
· Lecoq, emotion, and acting theories in Western theatre (Rick Kemp)
· The Body as Building Block for Language (Maiya Murphy)
· Applying Lecoq’s Pedagogy in Education and Community Building (Mark McKenna)
· Lecoq graduates and UK drama schools (Vladimir Mirodan, Drama Centre)

The fourth and final section is “The Performance Diaspora,” about former students who have become individual artists or started companies. We anticipate that chapters in this section will have varied formats as they could be written by the artists themselves, or be written about them, or be interview material. Chapters already lined up include: · Pig Iron – Openness and Observation (Quinn Bauriedel, USA)
· The transmission of Lecoq’s work through embodied encounters (Rebecca Loukes, University of Exeter)
· British Movement Directors and Lecoq training (Ayse Tashkiran, RCSSD, London)
· Clowning – from training into professional clowning and devised performance (Malcolm Tulip, University of Michigan)
· The actor/creator and the influence of Lecoq’s pedagogy on American ensembles (Susan Wright Thompson, USA)

Other authors that have committed to writing chapters or contributing to the book include Franc Chamberlain (University of Huddersfield) and Simon Murray (University of Glasgow). We also intend to have the capacity for linking to video material, either on a companion website, or in the Routledge Performance Archive.

Routledge will promote the book internationally, and thus it will not only assist in the wider recognition of Lecoq as one of the great theatre teachers and philosophers of the twentieth century, but also alert people worldwide to the vibrant and ongoing life of the school, the rich work of students (past and present), the success and influence of teachers who have worked at the School and at their own institutions, and the impact of theatre performers, actors, theatre artists and companies the School has supported. We welcome contributions from pedagogues and theatrical practitioners as well as academics.

We seek potential authors for chapters currently identified within the structure of the book, as outlined below.

Section 1: Context, Influences and Practice
The introduction will identify Lecoq’s physical, cultural and intellectual journeys within mid-twentieth century Europe. It will set out the broad context for his work and his teaching and point to the significance of each of the following chapters. In doing so, it will identify some of the possible historic reasons why Lecoq’s work can be seen as both necessarily rooted in a city such as Paris, and yet can also be seen as speaking to wider European social, political and intellectual agendas.
Chapter Topics:
· Post-WWII theatre policy in Europe – nationalism, internationalism, humanism and populism in relation to the development of Lecoq’s practice.
· The French theatrical avant-garde of the early twentieth century (e.g. Copeau, Artaud, Antoine). · Mime, ‘mime,’ and mimes (from Deburau and Decroux to Marceau and Barrault).
· The rediscovery of the mask in twentieth century theatre
· Theatre and the French intellectual environment (e.g. Jousse, Bachelard and Merleau-Ponty)
· Satire and Absurdism - the Parenti-Lecoq Company, Fo, and European Absurdism
· Silent comedy, mime and film (e.g. Chaplin, Tati and the impact of film and television on mime and silent comedy)

Section 2: Pedagogy
The introduction will give a general outline of the history of the school and the development of its pedagogy, and identify Lecoq’s central aims and the overarching design of his pedagogy. It will in broad terms identify the contributions of teachers such Philippe Gaulier, Monika Pagneux, Norman Taylor, Thomas Prattki and Jos Houben (amongst others) – for example Pagneux’s introduction of the work of Moshe Feldenkrais into the school’s preparation corporelle.
Chapter Topics (Chapter authors will be asked to contextualize each topic, and with each pedagogic form, describe its adoption into the school’s curriculum. Some topics are more thematic, in order to incorporate multiple pedagogic activities, or to offer a cognitive context for the practices. Chapters will vary in length (standard: 4,000 words and concise: 2,000 words) with more space being given for core aspects of the pedagogy.)
· Body and environment: Sensory stimuli and psychological states (Concise)
· The physicalization of language (Concise)
· Movement, Music, and Art (Concise)
· Play/Le Jeu and improvisation
· Acrobatics, stage combat and juggling (Concise)
· Movement Analysis
· Pantomime Blanche and cartoon mime (Concise)
· Melodrama (Concise)
· Commedia dell’arte
· Bouffons
· Clowns
· Text (Concise)
· The L.E.M. (The Laboratoire d’Étude du Mouvement)
· Autocours, Les Inquêtes and Les Commandes

 Section 3: Legacy
The Section Introduction will give an overview of the many ways in which Lecoq’s teaching is influencing performance pedagogy internationally, and how it interweaves with wider trends that are becoming evident in twentieth century and contemporary theatre, and other arenas. The introduction also acknowledges and briefly describes phenomena that are significant but, for various reasons, have not been accorded their own chapter. These would include, for example, Lecoq graduates who teach in drama schools in countries other than the UK and the USA, and the practice of companies running short workshops as they tour.
Chapter Topics:
· Lecoq and interculturalism in twentieth century theatre
· Contemporary theory and performance practice
· Post-Lecoq pedagogy and the independent theatre studio
· Lecoq graduates and US drama schools
· The school now and into the future

Section 4: The Performance Diaspora
Lecoq was fond of telling his students that he was training them for a theatre that did not yet exist – a provocation to create new forms of theatre. The introduction explains how this section addresses the work of actors, directors, writers, clowns and others in response to this provocation. It is by no means exhaustive – the sheer volume of work that originates from Lecoq’s school precludes this. (Chapters in this section will have varied formats as some will be written by the artists themselves, others will be written about them, and some will be composed of interview material. We invite proposals on the topics mentioned below and will also accept proposals on other topics in this area. Other than the case studies of particular companies, the topics below give examples of the way in which authors should seek to identify themes, trends, or principles that have become evident in the work of Lecoq-trained practitioners. We also intend to have a capacity for linking to video material, either on a companion website, or in the Routledge Performance Archive).
Chapter Topics
· Théâtre du Soleil
· Footsbarn
· Mummenschantz
· Théâtre de Complicité, Complicite and Simon McBurney
· The Movement of Words: Yasmina Reza (France) and Theatre Columbus (Canada)
· ‘Le Jeu’ in the world of medicine: Brazil’s ‘Doctors of Joy’ and The Clod Ensemble’s ‘Performing Medicine’ in the U.K.
· Physical expression and the body as intercultural agent - South Africa’s Magnet Theatre and Toronto’s Why Not Theatre
· Directing: James McDonald, Luc Bondy, and Leah Hausmann
· Lecoq and film; Geoffrey Rush, Toby Jones and Julie Taymor
· UK Generations – e.g. Moving Picture Mime Show, MummeranDada, Brouhaha, Hoi-Polloi, Peepolykus, and Theatre O.

· Conclusion (Editors)

Chapters should be 3,500 – 4,000 words long. Chapters may be written as conventional academic essays, but we also welcome suggestions for chapters that are constructed around interviews, case studies or other primary source material. There is also a possible opportunity for a 'photographic essay' as a contribution if an author wishes to propose this. We invite anybody who is interested in proposing themselves as a possible chapter author in this Companion volume to contact Rick Kemp directly at:

In the first instance we require: an indication of which chapter(s) you would be interested in writing and why, a 250 word abstract for the chapter(s), and a short biographical statement outlining your academic and/or performance and/or pedagogical background and any relevant affiliations. A more detailed outline of the proposed structure and content of the book is available on request.

Timeline: Expressions of interest and abstracts to reach the editors by: Friday 28 March 2014

Response from editors, and if successful, invitation to submit chapter: 9 May 2014

Deadline for submission of chapters: 31 October 2014 Editors’ comments and suggestions to authors by: January 2015

Deadline for revised chapters: February 2015

Typesetting and proofing: March - June 2015

Intended date for publication: Autumn 2015

Mark Evans is Professor of Theatre Training and Education and Associate Dean of the School of Art and Design at Coventry University. He is the author of Movement Training for the Modern Actor (Routledge, 2009) and Jacques Copeau (Routledge, 2006), and is an Associate Editor of the Theatre Dance and Performance Training journal. Mark is a co-convenor of the Performer Training Working Group in the Theatre and Performance Research Association. He studied with Jacques Lecoq, and with Philippe Gaulier and Monika Pagneux, in Paris in the 1980s.

Rick Kemp is Professor of Theatre and Head of Acting and Directing at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He has received awards on both sides of the Atlantic for his work as an actor and director, including the Institut Français award, the British Telecom Innovations Award, and the 2004 Heinz Endowments Creative Heights Award. Rick trained with Philippe Gaulier and Monika Pagneux in Paris in the 1980s, holds an MA from Oxford University, an MFA in Performance Pedagogy, and a PhD in Theatre and Performance Studies. He is the author of Embodied Acting: What Neuroscience Tells Us About Performance (Routledge, 2012).

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