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Vsevolod Meyerhold and the actor of the future: movement, voice and emotion. In-flows between artistic and scientific approaches

Grant number: 10/20792-0
Support type:Regular Research Grants
Duration: April 01, 2011 - February 29, 2012
Field of knowledge:Linguistics, Literature and Arts - Arts - Theatre
Principal researcher:Yedda Carvalho Ribera
Grantee:Yedda Carvalho Ribera
Home Institution: Escola de Comunicações e Artes (ECA). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


This research deals with the actor, his training and the processes of composition along two lines of research that interact: the aesthetic and scientific. Regarding the technical development of psychophysical actor, taking as its starting point the meyerholdian actor, it is known that the aesthetic approach to issues such as voice, word, rhythmic movement dance, comedia dell'arte, is as well as fencing an approach still underused in science. The goal is to focus on studies made by Meyerhold in the field of neurophysiology and experimental psychology in Russia and in America. The results obtained in the survey conducted during my Ph.D. (CAPES-France) and one year of postdoctoral (FAPESP-Brazil) were original studies and demonstrated that the theories of V. Bekhterev and W. James were considered by Meyerhold as matrices of the fundamental integration between body and mind of man-actor. For this next step I intend to deepen the relation between V. Meyerhold and Bekhterev as well as the psychologist W. James, exploring artistic procedures that involve the laws of accuracy, decision making and adaptation, which are likely to deepen the journey from expressive movement of body and voice to emotion. Also I will list those aspects of scientific and artistic meyerholdian approach about the interaction between body and mind with the methods of work carried out by contemporary artists such as Eugenio Kusnet, Jerzy Grotowski and Bob Wilson. The aim is thus to identify the poetic procedures and principles of performative actor in the theater of Meyerhold connecting the historical experience of the actor to contemporary experience, thus enabling a mapping of such reflections and artistic practices regarding the actor's work on the relationship between movement and emotion. Moreover, the research in question will be viewed in light of recent neuroscientific studies. The presence of James in the experiments and studies on the emotion of scientists Antonio Damasio and Alain Berthoz is not only an update of the reference used by Meyerhold, but also an important contribution to theories that claim the role played by cognitive processes in integration with the body. (AU)

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