Did you say ‘training’?

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<ul><li><p>This article was downloaded by: [University of Ulster Library]On: 13 November 2014, At: 01:54Publisher: RoutledgeInforma Ltd Registered in England and Wales Registered Number: 1072954 Registered office: Mortimer House, 37-41Mortimer Street, London W1T 3JH, UK</p><p>Performance Research: A Journal of the Performing ArtsPublication details, including instructions for authors and subscription information:http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/rprs20</p><p>Did you say training?Josette FralPublished online: 03 Nov 2009.</p><p>To cite this article: Josette Fral (2009) Did you say training?, Performance Research: A Journal of the Performing Arts, 14:2,16-25, DOI: 10.1080/13528160903319216</p><p>To link to this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13528160903319216</p><p>PLEASE SCROLL DOWN FOR ARTICLE</p><p>Taylor &amp; Francis makes every effort to ensure the accuracy of all the information (the Content) contained in thepublications on our platform. However, Taylor &amp; Francis, our agents, and our licensors make no representations orwarranties whatsoever as to the accuracy, completeness, or suitability for any purpose of the Content. Any opinionsand views expressed in this publication are the opinions and views of the authors, and are not the views of orendorsed by Taylor &amp; Francis. The accuracy of the Content should not be relied upon and should be independentlyverified with primary sources of information. Taylor and Francis shall not be liable for any losses, actions, claims,proceedings, demands, costs, expenses, damages, and other liabilities whatsoever or howsoever caused arisingdirectly or indirectly in connection with, in relation to or arising out of the use of the Content.</p><p>This article may be used for research, teaching, and private study purposes. Any substantial or systematicreproduction, redistribution, reselling, loan, sub-licensing, systematic supply, or distribution in any form to anyone isexpressly forbidden. Terms &amp; Conditions of access and use can be found at http://www.tandfonline.com/page/terms-and-conditions</p><p>http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/rprs20http://www.tandfonline.com/action/showCitFormats?doi=10.1080/13528160903319216http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13528160903319216http://www.tandfonline.com/page/terms-and-conditionshttp://www.tandfonline.com/page/terms-and-conditions</p></li><li><p>16</p><p>This article first appeared in French (2000). To avoid confusing readers of English, the French word entranement (usually translated as training in English) has been translated here as preparation, except where using the French term is the point. When the new French word training is discussed, we render it into English in italics. All translations of quotations are ours. Text translated by Leslie Wickes.</p><p>For some time now, two words have shared the acting field between them: training and entranement. Present in the texts, coexisting in discourses, evoked by artists and researchers over the years, they seem to maintain a peaceful existence that gives the impression that they are synonyms and can be used interchangeably. In this manner, they comprise a single and sole reality: that of actors efforts to perfect their art before mounting the stage. This is not a false impression, and yet this </p><p>state of balance is in fact an illusion. In effect, for those who attentively observe the literature on the subject, as well as certain texts and speculations of current practitioners, it is apparent that this equilibrium is in the process of rupturing. The word training seems, at least in France, to inscribe the concept in particular contexts. Far from being a trend, a preference for an easy anglicism, this shift tends to bring to light some profound transformations that have been affecting the preparation of actors for the past thirty years. As it was first documented in 1440, the English </p><p>word training originally signified drawing, </p><p>trailing; drawing out, protracting (OED s.v. training). It is borrowed from the Old French word trainer and does not acquire the sense of instruction, discipline, education until 1548 (Barnhart 1988: 1157). At this point it refers to a systematic instruction and exercise in some art, profession or occupation, with a view to proficiency in it (OED). Indifferently used in the artistic, sports and military fields, and even in the training of animals, it evokes the process of developing the bodily vigour and endurance by systematic exercise, so as to fit for some athletic feat (OED). It is therefore intimately linked from its first appearance to the notions of exercise and perfecting.This English word, which was not found in </p><p>French dictionaries until the 1980s, soon made its appearance in the 1990s under the influence of sports and studies in psychology and psychoanalysis (training autogne, training group). At this point it designates a preparation through repeated exercises or a psychotherapeutic method of relaxation through autosuggestion (training autogne). The dictionaries do not document the use it is put to in the theatrical world. They insist on the notions of exercise and methodical repetition that are the foundation of sports as well as psychoanalysis. Researchers then began to refer back to its earlier connotations. Thus in his 1854 book, Guide du Sportsman ou </p><p>Trait de lEntranement et des Courses de Chevaux, E. Gayot defines the word training as a preparation for physical activity. In 1895, Paul </p><p>Did you say training?j o s e t t e f r a l </p><p>Pe rf o rm a n c e R e s e a r c h 1 4 ( 2 ) , p p . 1 6 - 2 5 Ta y l o r &amp; F ra n c i s L td 2 0 0 9D O I : 1 0 . 1 0 8 0 / 1 3 5 2 8 1 6 0 9 0 3 3 1 9 2 1 6</p><p>Dow</p><p>nloa</p><p>ded </p><p>by [</p><p>Uni</p><p>vers</p><p>ity o</p><p>f U</p><p>lste</p><p>r L</p><p>ibra</p><p>ry] </p><p>at 0</p><p>1:54</p><p> 13 </p><p>Nov</p><p>embe</p><p>r 20</p><p>14 </p></li><li><p>17</p><p>Bourget notes in his book Outre-Mer: almost all devoted themselves to physical exercises done in the American style, that is to say, like a training, a mathematical and reasoned physical preparation. This reference to the American model is interesting because it links the word to a sport (gymnastics) which was moving across the Atlantic. In 1872, in his Notes sur lAngleterre, Taine evokes the training of the attention. The use of the word spread so widely and so thoroughly that, in 1976, an August 12th Arrt recommends the use of the term entranement instead of training to signify the action of perfecting and staying in shape in a given fi eld (Quemada 1994: 472). Despite these measures, the use of the word </p><p>training1 nevertheless becomes common practice and seems to become a valid synonym for the word entranement2, though the latter remains more common in texts.When it is applied to theatre in the Anglophone </p><p>world, the word training is used systematically to </p><p>designate all aspects of an actors preparation. Thus it indiscriminately refers to the instruction given at acting schools, in acting classes, on stages and in workshops, and also to the practical exercises that actors may undertake before a production, as well as to the work carried out by actors who wish to perfect their art without a specifi c production in view. This absence of distinction between three diff erent aspects of preparation (formation, production and the development of the actors art) makes training a quasi-generic term in the Anglophone world. It is a convenient, all-purpose word that encompasses all forms of exercises, techniques and methods employed by actors attempting to acquire the basics of their vocation. In France, the use of the word training as </p><p>applied to theatre is a recent arrival 3 At the earliest, it dates from the middle of the 1980s. Predominantly used in spoken language, it appears fairly late in written texts. For example, the works of Grotowski (1971, 1974), as well as the </p><p>1 Defi ned as a preparation through repeated exercises (Quemada 1994: 472).</p><p>2 Defi ned as preparation for a physical or intellectual activity; learning through methodical repetition (Imbs 1979: 1228).</p><p>3 France seems to be the only country in the French world to have thus generalized the use of the word training, at least in oral language, about fi fteen years ago. </p><p> Odin Teatret &amp; CTLS archives - Work demonstration: Moon and darkness with Iben Nagel RasmussenPhoto: Torben Huss. </p><p>Did you say training?</p><p>Dow</p><p>nloa</p><p>ded </p><p>by [</p><p>Uni</p><p>vers</p><p>ity o</p><p>f U</p><p>lste</p><p>r L</p><p>ibra</p><p>ry] </p><p>at 0</p><p>1:54</p><p> 13 </p><p>Nov</p><p>embe</p><p>r 20</p><p>14 </p></li><li><p>18</p><p> Fral</p><p>first of Barbas books (1982), make no mention of it and favour entranement instead. The same is true of works by Brook (1991, 1992), Vitez (1991, 1994) and Yoshi Oida (1999), which all speak of entranement, not training.However, from 1982 to 1985 a change occurs </p><p>that can be traced through the various works of Barba. In effect, LArchipel du Thtre, published in 19824, uses the word entranement to designate the work of the actor. The text reads: preparation (lentranement) does not teach how to act, how to be clever, does not prepare one for creation (Barba 1979: 73). This usage is confirmed in the chapter that follows, entitled Questions sur lentranement. Nevertheless, by 1985, with the Anatomie de lActeur5, things have changed. The word entranement has given way to training even though it continues to designate the same work by the actor. The texts of Nicola Savarese (Training et point de dpart) and Eugenio Barba himself (Training: de apprendre apprendre apprendre) explicitly refer to the word to evoke the actors preparatory work. This usage becomes systematic in Barbas Thtre: solitude, mtier, rvolte6, which appeared in 1999. The book is proof that, from this point forward, the word training has definitively entered common practice, even supplanting the word entranement completely in certain texts. This evolution of a typically French use is even more evident in light of the fact that Barba himself affirms that he initially privileged the more intercultural word training, which permits the use of a single concept that supercedes [goes beyond] geographic and linguistic borders while avoiding the reductive sports connotations that too often evoke an actors gymnastics.We might investigate such an evolution. Is it </p><p>simply a case of a lexical fluctuation in favour of a word whose English timbre conveys a more vital and dynamic image of the actors work? Is it rather an ideological shift betraying another concept of what an actors preparation should be? The multiple and highly diverse uses of the word to express the different methods of training actors do not permit any one answer. It is </p><p>nevertheless apparent that, aside from the distinctively French predilection for English words, the decision may have been motivated by the need to import a word with specifically theatrical connotations into the theatrical vocabulary. It would thus represent an effort to escape sports and military references that sometimes continue to inform its French counterpart entranement. With regard to a direct cross-Atlantic influence, the matter cannot be clearly proven, as the methods of preparing actors in the United States and in the English world in general (Lee Strasberg, Viola Spolin, Uta Hagen, Stanford Meisner, Stella Adler, Kristin Linklater, Cicely Berry) have few echoes in France. However, this evolution of words coincides </p><p>with an evolution in practice that Iwould now like to analyse.</p><p>e n t r a n e m e n t , n o t t e a c h i n g</p><p>The notion of an actors entranement, and more importantly, the practices that this notion encompasses, date at the very earliest from the beginning of the twentieth century in Europe and North America. As tributaries of the evolution of theatrical practice over the years, they are inseparable from the transformations that have affected theatrical representation and the growing place occupied by the actor, a complete actor, whose formation is not only physical but also intellectual and moral, with the aim of conferring a new poetic (Copeau 1974: 115) on him or her. In France, Copeau, Dullin and Jouvet were among the first to emphasize the necessity for a systematic preparation of the actor as a reaction to the instruction that was then practised in most schools of theatrical learning.7 They created the theatre-schools, the theatre-laboratories, of which Grotowski, Barba and, without a doubt, Mnouchkine and Brook are the direct heirs.It seems therefore that the notion of </p><p>preparation must first be dissociated from that of education, which is left to schools. These </p><p>4 Lectoure: Bouffonneries. English version (1979) The Floating Islands, Graasten: Drama.</p><p>5 Lectoure: Bouffonneries. English version (1991) The Secret Art of the Performer, London: Centre for Performance Research and Routledge. Latest edition (2005) A Dictionary of Theatre Anthropology: The secret art of the performer, London: Routledge.</p><p>6 Saussan: Lentretemps. English version (1999) Theatre: Solitude, craft, revolt, Aberystwyth: Black Mountain Press.</p><p>7 It is interesting to analyse the variety of theatrical learning institutes that existed at the beginning of the century. When Copeau founded his school in 1920, the panorama of the period in France included numerous schools, classes and workshops. The Conservatoire National Suprieur dArt Dramatique had already long been in existence. (It was created in 1784 as LEcole Royale de Chant et de Dclamation and became the Conservatoire in 1808.) The situation is the same elsewhere in Europe. In Belgium, the Conservatoire de Bruxelles et dAnvers had been in existence since 1860. In Finland, the Finnish National Theatre offered courses to its actors from 1906 to 1920, and the Swedish Theatre did the same between 1910 and 1973. The Finnish School of Drama was created in 1920. In Germany, important schools had been in place for several years in Berlin, Frankfurt and Munich. In Italy, the Academia Nazionale dArte Drammatica Silvio dAmico was founded in Rome in 1930. However, </p><p>Dow</p><p>nloa</p><p>ded </p><p>by [</p><p>Uni</p><p>vers</p><p>ity o</p><p>f U</p><p>lste</p><p>r L</p><p>ibra</p><p>ry] </p><p>at 0</p><p>1:54</p><p> 13 </p><p>Nov</p><p>embe</p><p>r 20</p><p>14 </p></li><li><p>19</p><p>schools, many of which emerged in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, initially promoted a vision of formation distinguished [defined] by the preeminence of the text on stage and by the necessity for actors to prepare themselves first and foremost to take on a role, to hold a job (classes in diction and vocal development were strongly emphasized). Copeau and Dullin forcefully express the distrust of the instruction given in these schools:</p><p>What is the current state of an actors technical formation? It is almost non-existent. Either the artist attends the Conservatory, and will have a great deal of difficulty in correcting the defects he acquires there, or he takes a few random classes and begins to work immediately, using nothing but his natural gifts and without really learning his trade. (Dullin 1969: 57) </p><p>Barba reiterates Dullins criticism today. In this instance he denounces the insufficiencies of the formation offered in schools not because of the nature of the courses offered but because of the pedagogical approach they adopt (a plurality of </p><p>professors for each student) which cannot permit a real apprenticeship in the trade.The...</p></li></ul>