MA The Body in Performance

Validated by City University London


"I'm always excited and challenged by the range of artists who attend the MA The Body in Performance Programme. Throughout the year we exchange ideas through practical sessions and seminar discussions, resulting in a lively and critically supportive research environment. The resulting performances and installations act as a key moment where a wider audience is invited in to share the results of this rigorous investigation of the body in performance."

Martin Hargreaves, Programme Leader, MA The Body in Performance

The MA The Body in Performance gives you the opportunity to explore creatively the social, cultural, political, and philosophical constitution of the body through your performance making practice. The programme facilitates studio-based investigation supported by a central strand of lectures and seminars. Across workshops and discussions there is a focus on liveness as a means to reposition the performing body in new relationships to the bodies of the audience or spectator. There is also an attention to the performativity of documentation and the critical and creative potentials of writing practices to recontextualise the encounter with the live act. You will develop your thinking, doing, writing and speaking about and with performance and how it frames the experience of corporeality and embodiment.

The MA The Body in Performance can be studied full time over 11 months or part time over 22 months, plus a two month independent research project.

NB: Please note that this programme is NOT running in 2015-16 only.

What's Different About This Programme?

  • Your theoretical and practical interrogations of embodiment, subjectivity and performance are integrated, advancing your art form more effectively
  • Benefit from a wealth of shared influences and experiences, thanks to the breadth and diversity of student work that reflects a broad mix of disciplines and backgrounds
  • The programme is designed to give you both the challenge and freedom you need to grow artistically and intellectually. It enquires into live art and performance but with a perspective emerging from dance, and you'll be taught by a range of professional artists who perform work internationally
  • Your research will interrogate ideas about 'the body' and 'performance' as posed by the traditions of dance and theatre. In the same way that our programme intertwines theory and practice, so your investigations will use both live performance and written documentation.

Programme Content

We've structured this programme in a way that enables you to develop a research project from your initial idea and its thorough exploration to final performances in April and July.

  • Your own creative performance practice: as this is the focus of the programme, you will be introduced to various methodologies for devising, articulating, documenting and presenting your practice. Within studio-based modules, you'll explore investigative and creative processes and consolidate your research into performances across the theatres at the Conservatoire
  • Lectures and seminars: informing you and prompting debate around the philosophical concepts of subjectivity and embodiment relating to artistic movements that are rethinking the nature of the body, movement and identity. Consider your work within historical and contemporary discourses on the performing body
  • Collaborative and interdisciplinary experiences: these are nurtured on the programme so you can explore your processes in a situation where exchange, discussion and critical reflection are central

The taught content of the modules is delivered by a team comprising Trinity Laban staff and visiting artists and lectures, and consists of:

M-502 Research Methods 30 credits
M-531 Creative Strategies 30 credits
M-532 Histories of the Body 30 credits
M-533 Performance Research & Development 30 credits
M-505 Project 60 credits

Your project (M505) can take the form of a performance, lecture demonstration, written dissertation or a mixed mode project.

For further detail have a look at our current Programme Specification. (NB: Please note that this programme is not running in 2015-16).

Programme Aims

  • Engage with contemporary research into the body in performance through the provision of studio-based explorations of methods for creative practice, documentation and performance presentation
  • Facilitate collaborative and interdisciplinary practice as a means to synthesise knowledge from complex, incomplete or contradictory perspectives embedded in arts practice
  • Consider key concepts of the body and subjectivity in 20th-21st century art-making, their philosophical context and the manner in which they have informed innovations in performance.

Technical training is not provided within the programme fee structure. You are welcome to attend technique classes at Trinity Laban upon payment of a supplementary fee to cover direct teaching costs. Alternatively you can attend evening classes offered by the Schools & Community department. A range of professional classes are also offered at our partner organisation Greenwich Dance located 15 minutes' walk away.

What Do I Need To Apply?

You will normally have professional dance, theatre or performance experience and have successfully completed a UK undergraduate degree in an appropriate or related subject, or an overseas award of equivalent standard (eg USA degree - GPA 3.00 or above). English Language competency requirements also apply.

  • Full-time: 11 months
  • Part-time: 22 months

    Plus independent research project (2 months).

You will normally have professional dance, theatre or performance experience and have successfully completed a UK undergraduate degree in an appropriate or related subject, or an overseas award of equivalent standard (eg USA degree - GPA 3.00 or above). English Language competency requirements also apply.

Assessment is through a range of practical and written assignments, and the presentation of the research project.

Research Degree Programme

PhD and MPhil research

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