METHODOLOGY

The CISPA training guides the student to develop a holistic and existential approach to acting technique. An approach to life and human beings that challenges habitual thinking and rigid, presumed truths about ourselves as humans.

The starting point of the training at CISPA is the being of each individual as a part of the collective. The actor is trained to expose and hone the correlation between the physical, psychological and metaphysical elements of human nature. The performing artist must be able to utilise and coordinate their entire sensory apparatus, intellectual capacity, intuitive and instinctive impulses and emotional depth in order that the correlation between body, mind and soul manifest itself in an original artistic expression.

This approach stands in line with the post-critical tradition of the mindbody, coined, amongst others, by William H. Poteat. In contrast to the dominant Cartesian divide of mind and body into two separate entities, and the filtering of one’s encounter with reality through a lens of extreme suspicion, Poteat argues that mind and body cannot possibly be separated and thus any reflection under the assumption of such a separation must be seriously distorted. Instead he suggests that persons possess neither minds nor bodies, but mindbodies, and that all our perceptive senses are first fundamentally combined in a prelingual level of understanding, from which all higher thought, feeling and action are educed.

Thus, the acting student must learn to tap into and develop their sensorial connectness with, and prelingual perception of the world, in order to employ them creatively, and deliberately harness them within a specific artistic form.

At CISPA this embrace of mind and body as undividable unfolds itself in three major ways:

  • Firstly, it is an important step towards a unified training that facilitates both practice (physical doing), and subsequent embodied reflection which in turn informs and advances further practice.
  • Secondly, building on the concepts of embodiment and the mindbody, CISPA pursues a holistic approach to learning, teaching and research.
  • Thirdly, in the methodology: Contemporary Method Acting, drawing on both physical, psychological, and psychophysical actor training traditions, is firmly rooted in the premise that we as human beings exist and express ourselves as mindbodies with all of our physical and mental properties inextricably merged in every aspect of our lives. Building on this premise, the training enables the performer to embody not only their given character and performance, but engage with the theatrical experience from a reciprocal mindbody perspective, where inner phenomena are manifested in outer expression, and vice versa.

Thus, the CISPA training guides the student to develop a holistic and existential approach to acting technique. An approach to life and human beings that challenges habitual thinking and rigid, presumed truths about ourselves as humans.

Furthermore, an essential part of this existential approach to the actor training, is the interplay and reciprocity between the individual and the group. In all aspects, the performer must practice being in relation to a collective entity: the ensemble, the audience, society, humanity. As both practitioners and scholars in the field of performance theory have stated: The transcendence of one’s habitual sense of self into the creative state of mind can be fundamentally described as a yielding to the flow of life utterances which stem from a collective unconscious, an inherent unconscious part of our psyche, which is shared between us as humans across all culturally and socially constructed barriers.

By the end of the training, the students have developed into versatile actors, who are capable of channeling all kinds of dramatic material into mindbody actions in relation to a collective entity. The students must master the interpreting, inhabiting, performing and contextualizing of any kind of role, in any kind of performative context, medium and genre, through the use of both analytical and intuitive acting tools.

Furthermore, throughout their training, students gain competencies within social and cultural entrepreneurship. This includes cross-disciplinary, cross-cultural and transnational competencies and practices, a fusion of horizons11, which equip graduates with the skill- and mindset to conceive, devise, rehearse, perform, produce and manage co-creational, artistic projects, using different performative media, and implementing these projects not only as artistic endeavors, but as expressions of active (world) citizenship.

Specialist practitioners, internationally renowned guest teachers and directors (Danish and international) contribute to a contemporary, synergetic, research-based approach to Method Acting, ensuring unfailing authenticity and practical application for the students: Contemporary Method Acting

Collectively, the artistic directors and the core group of teachers at CISPA represent many decades of performing, directing and teaching. In recent years, these teachers (of acting technique, singing, voice, dance, movement psychology, scene study, theatre history and rhetorical text etc) have worked closely together across the disciplines. Embracing different methodological traditions that constructively challenge each other, we’ve aimed at finding a common terminology and creating cross-disciplinary continuity and coherency for the students.

To sum up, we have in common a research-based approach to methodological acting technique. We have an extensive cross-disciplinary collaboration where we learn from each other, investigate and challenge habitual thinking. Anchored in a solid sense of tradition and years of experience, our aim is to continually develop our acting methods practically and theoretically. Contemporary Method Acting.

One of the main tasks, that the Method seeks to solve, is awakening our subconscious and organic nature to artistic creativity
- (Konstantin Stanislavskij, 1863 – 1938)