The work of Performance Arts is international in its focus, recognising the importance of understanding and learning through the exchange of ideas, cultures and experience. It is both a collaborative, and uniquely personal experience. In the first two years you will be in a highly guided programme, before spending the third year deciding your area of focus, writing your own projects and showing the outcomes of your work.
Practical workshops and projects may include areas as diverse as Butoh, puppetry, object manipulation, dramaturgy, scenography, photography, site-specific, carnival, street arts, video/film, fashion and opera, with leading practitioners from across the world. Students will be asked constantly to debate, argue, and push ideas forward within their area of interest and find what this means for them personally as they develop their practice, creative leadership, authorship and ownership of their work.
Students have the opportunity to develop preliminary skills across the creative and contextual disciplines of performance practice and interdisciplinary studies (including writing for performance, interactivity, producing and entrepreneurship, and performance theory), as well as an understanding of the uses of scenography and dramaturgy.
While the course is focused on the development of individual creative identity, you will work in a highly collaborative environment and be expected to undertake a range of roles, challenging your own process. Therefore, the programme is well suited to the future leaders of performance venues, organisations and companies. Those interested in directing, producing, devising, creative writing, live and performance art, arts administration and dramaturgy will find this course beneficial, but they will also be asked throughout their time with us to look beyond what they expect, know and value.
You will have the opportunity to learn dramaturgical skills and text analysis, write a new piece of work, develop visual principles of scenography and composition of space, practical basics of lighting and sound, methods of devised performance, ethnography, a critical and theoretical framework for understanding new performance practice, how to apply research methods and reflective practice, and processes of documentation and criticism. The year concludes with a student devised site-specific performance.
You will undertake a project designed to increase awareness of intercultural and interdisciplinary skills with practitioners from the international community. You will also produce a festival of live performance, The Accidental Festival (www.accidentalfestival.co.uk), collaborating with practitioners from across the world, at a professional venue in London, such as the Roundhouse, and complete a professional placement with a company or practitioner of your own selection. You may also continue to develop your skills within visual dramaturgy and cultural leadership.
You will be able to put specialist skills into practice as a creative practitioner through two major tasks designed by you, under the guidance of tutors. You will also prepare a portfolio, which might include archives of performances you have been involved in during the year. You will be required to support your learning in a vocational setting beyond Central.