Gestural Arts

Course Availability: Full Time Part Time

In September 2017, an exciting new postgraduate course will commence at Emerson College: Performing Arts / Gestural Arts will be delivered by InGA, the International Institute for Gestural Arts.

Download the course brochure here.

This dynamic training can be studied either fulltime (one and a half years) or in a modular context (3 years). It will be led by Prof. Roland Matthies and Rachel Porter who are both Performing Arts practitioners. Both artists and academics, they specialize in devised Performance and Gestural Theatre. Roland and Rachel will be supported by a number of specialist guest lecturers. The course will partly take place at Emerson College (near London/GB) and partly at the Kulturcentrum Järna (near Stockholm/Sweden).

Performing Arts / Gestural Arts
The focus of the programme will be upon what we refer to as “Gestural Arts”. Gesture, from our perspective, is not reduced to the movement of the hands and body, rather it includes all means of existential expression. It is a creative archetypical principle that is able to form, transform and perform our impulses bodily and hence shape and mould our natural and social environment.

The theoretical and anthropological background of the course is linked to the work of artists, writers and philosophers through whose research we recognise gesture as having an ever-present underpinning substructure in the world of arts and social life. Cornerstones are Brecht’s approach (“Gestus”) as well as Steiner’s ideas about gesture (“Gebärde”) and Michael Chekhov’s adaption (“Psychological Gesture”). An important and anchoring reference within the practical training will be the work of Jacques Lecoq’s “Théâtre du Geste”.  

The course aims to build bridges between such historical contexts and contemporary performing practice where gestural techniques and approaches are present in many diverse ways e.g……. “Gesture" will be (in the practical work and theoretical research) the key element linking spiritual and social impact with artistic and economical lpractice. “Gesture”, as an artistic principle, will be taught and offered as a tool to shape, create and consciously impress upon social life.

The various experiential and academic strands will converge to form an artistic training that challenges the body (including voice and speech) and the disposition equally. One of our aims is to facilitate and encourage the students to reflect upon their own artistic practice, particularly their personal beliefs, ideals and motivations. Not a method or a style will be taught, but tools and space will be given in order for each student to develop his/her own performance practice while exploring the broader context of his/her work in relation to audience, community and world.
We encourage individuals to apply who want to give their artistic impulses shape and direction and to embed them in a meaningful context in society.

The course is designed as a Postgraduate Course. Credits achieved according to the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) can be credited and used for a following MA or MFA programme “Fine Arts and Performing Arts in Society”.

This is a call out to participants from all countries as we look forward to exploring and developing gestural performing arts alongside our students as an international multi-cultural project.