Actors, Dancers, Attitudes: In Search of Common Ground

Acting treatises from the long 18th century warn against "the pomp and sweep" of the dancer as being misplaced and exaggerated in spoken theatre, making clear that although actors often learned to dance, they were not meant to look like they were dancing while acting. Yet both actors and dancers made use of what Gilbert Austin termed 'significant gestures', and both could strike attitudes that were at once visually arresting and highly affective. This interactive workshop examines the relationship between the arts of Thespis and Terpischore in the long 18th century, looking specifically at the attitudes described by Gilbert Austin (in Chronomia, 1806) and Johannes Jelerhuis Rienkzn (in Theoretische Lessen over de gestiek, 1827). Common ground will be sought, as well as differences delineated. 

Jed Wentz
Author affiliation
University of Leiden