Course Description

Course Name

Art Studio in Practice: Performance and Ritual

Session: VPGS1324

Hours & Credits

6 ECTS Credits

Prerequisites & Language Level

Taught In English

  • There is no language prerequisite for courses at this language level.



This course introduces students to the performative as a field for visual artists—Performance and theatre practice. The course is a practice based interdisciplinary approach toward following topics: performance as collective space, embodied speech, words as deeds, verbal performance, oral traditions vs contemporary performance, ensemble work and anthropology of theatre, physicality of performer, role of training, auditory spatial awareness, site specific projects, analogies between performance and ritual, ritual in today society. Students will participate in a semester-long program, dedicated to a diverse topics of performativity in the arts. This series of training sessions, based on physical theatre and voice work, is aimed to broaden students’ sense of presence and awareness, to enhance sensitivity to one another and with the public, and guide us through these living traditions. The training is based on partner and group exercises, which emphasize mutuality in a group and build mutual awareness of each other. Students will be introduced to the techniques practiced by the heirs of Jerzy Grotowski’s methods—in Poland and abroad (mostly the Academy of Theatre Practices Gardzienice). The students will learn to combine diverse approaches and tools in interdisciplinary work process and use different media in creating the final presentation. Classes will contain theoretical introductions to selected topics related to performance, theatre anthropology and ritual. The course classes will take place in the art studio Holešovická Šachta, as well as in chosen historical places in Prague, and will include field trips for performaces. The course will lead to the final presentation, which will take place in spaces of the art studio in AAU campus, and will be open for the public. The audience will be invite for the discussion after the presentation.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, students should be able to:
– Develop their self awareness as performers and enable them to create an individual short performative etude;
– Get to know techniques of vocal expression and voice communication, inspired by practitioners of oral music traditions in Balkans and Western Europe (Mariana Sadovska, Svetlana Spajić) , as well as contemporary experimental voice artists (Diamanda Galas, Sainkho Namtchylak, Phil Minton, Urszula Dudziak, Iva Bittova);
– Be familiarized with site-specific performance strategies while exploring the process of creation beyond any art space;
– Comprehend the connections and differences between performance and ritual in terms of cultural structure;
– Recognize and develop the unique nature of individual student project in terms of collective work;
– Be acquainted with the performative practices in tribal rituals through the picture and video presentation of practices from South America, Africa, Indonesia, Balkans, Ukraine, Africa;
– Place in contemporary context the secular ritual practices;
– Learn how contemporary artists incorporate these rituals and how theatre anthropology relates to the traditional cultures. Augusto Boal, Jerzy Grotowski, Włodzimierz Staniewski, Richard Schechner, Jana Pilátová, Richard Bauman, and ensembles Song of the Goat theatre, Gardzienice Theatre, Farm in the Cave theatre;
– Discover the usefulness of rhythm and synchronisation in group work;
– Valuable the post industrial architecture heritage and its role in revitalisation through arts processes;
– Acknowledge to incorporate into the performing space relevant media (voice, video, sound work, picture, exhibition). Develop the ability to work inter disciplinary;
– Comprehend the process of preparing the performative work and complete the semestral presentation – solo or group work containing the course main objectives (length and scope to be determined).

*Course content subject to change