ATEC 11th International Forum: Seminar (Unit 3) Held in Beijing

On the morning of May 19, Unit 3 of the Seminar of ATEC 11th International Forum was held at the Academic Hall of The Central Academy of Drama, Changping District, Beijing. Hosted by Professor Poon Wai Sum from The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, this unit was themed as ‘Physical Training in the Teaching of Theatre’. Professor Wang Xin from The Central Academy of Drama offered his reviews. 

The unit started with the speech by Mr. Huang Wei with The Central Academy of Drama, which was titled ‘The Cognition and Application of Body – exploring cultural features in physical training’. In his speech, Mr. Huang mentioned the interconnection between Chinese culture and physical training, and suggested that factors in traditional Chinese arts should be leveraged in physical training during theatre teaching. He also elaborated on the difference between the rhythm in dance training and the motivation in theatre teaching. In order to help his points sink in, Mr. Huang invited Liu Peiran, a student from the Department of Dance Theatre, to display some dance movements.

After that, Lecturer Felipe Cervera from the Department of Theatre and Performance of LASALLE College of Arts (Singapore) delivered his report ‘Global Actor Training: Physicality, Digitality, and Sustainability in the Asian Conservatoire’. Based on the practices of his college on global actor/actress training, Mr. Cervera studied the interaction of the physicality, digitality and sustainability in the Asian art schools. He added that transcultural training could be a novel measure to release the twenty-first-century trainees’ physicality and broaden their vision.

Professor Dong Deguang from the National Academy of Chinese Theatre Arts then presented his paper ‘Body Training in Teaching of Chinese Traditional Opera Performance’. Based on his extensive experience in Xi Qu, or Chinese Traditional Opera, he put forward that the basic goal of teaching Xi Qu is to cultivate excellent performers that know how to interact, and body training is the foundation of teaching. He also challenged the translation of ‘Chinese Traditional Opera’, which invited heated debate.

Last but not least, Professor Peter Goessner from TOHO Gakuen discussed ‘Bringing on stage the dual system of Honne and Tatemae’. He touched upon the cultural difference between Germany and Japan and urged all performers to show concern about their communities in their works. By differentiating passive and active behaviors and through such examples as ‘lying’ and ‘cheating’, he vividly explained ‘Honne and Tatemae’.