Laban-Aristotle: Zώον (Zoon) in Theatre Πράξις (Praxis): Towards a Methodology for Movement Training for the Actor and in Acting

Selioni, Vasiliki (2013) Laban-Aristotle: Zώον (Zoon) in Theatre Πράξις (Praxis): Towards a Methodology for Movement Training for the Actor and in Acting. Doctoral thesis, The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, University of London.


The focus of this research rests on an investigation into the links between Laban and Aristotle with the view to propose a new approach to movement training for the actor. I will argue that in contrast to the standard Platonic reading, Laban’s development is best understood through the conceptual framework of Aristotle. This provides not only a more secure theoretical approach, but also a practical one, which establishes the art of movement as a science. In short this investigation intends to establish Laban’s philosophical foundation upon a reading of Aristotle’s Poetics, and in particular, on the reading of the Poetics by the contemporary Greek philosopher Stelios Ramfos in his book Μίμησης Εναντίον Μορφής (Mimesis versus Form) (1991-1992). What is significant about Stelios Ramfos’s interpretation is that he attempts an analysis and interpretation of the concepts of the Poetics in terms of theatre performance. Ιt is this emphasis on performance that make possible the task I have embarked upon of locating Laban’s theory and practice in the conceptual framework of Aristotelian poetic science. The discussion will serve as a critical framework from which to propose a new way of applying Laban’s movement concepts practically to the movement training for actors. The research methodology is also practical. It will therefore also develop and present a performance that attempts to apply Laban’s terms, as they are discussed, in relation to Aristotle, and (in Chapter 4) in relation to the new methodology as well as a syllabus of practical classes addressing actor movement training both in kinaesthesia and characterization. The ultimate goal of the research is to contribute an approach that can inform the way Laban’s concepts are taught and provide suggestions for the structuring of technical movement classes for actors.


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