I am at my “carousel home” that I taped on the floor in the big white rehearsal space at DDSKS Copenhagen. There is a knock on my invisible door. A man enters. He is an entrepreneur who wants to buy my summerhouse outside Gothenburg. The place I have spent every summer since I was a child. He needs the piece of land to build a pig farm…
The visit starts in the biographical reality of the female player who spent every summer in the summerhouse since she was a child - but quickly an autofictional situation evolves on stage. The players are doing the carousel round dance, the core of the acting practice in the carousel concept.
Their own biographies are scenically articulated, fictionalized and made sensually tangible in the exercise. The players` own roles are double cast. This requires a certain ability to improvise.
The Carousel Concept is a play within a play.
A serial improvisation that is staged as an event in four acts:
1. Prolog: Interview.
2. Interlude: A Secret Meeting- Preparation and Transition.
3. Main Part: At Home At-The Carousel Round Dance: A series of episodes, each between two people.
4. Epilog: Reflection.
I developed the Carousel Concept as a training practice for the contemporary actor/student. When participating in the carousel training, the actor/student trains several acting techniques, rather than one technique, which allows to experience personal ways to work and navigate on stage.
This research project is produced in the field of performing arts and revolves around the development about the Carousel Concept with my artistic practice as source. The project is driven by the wish to renegotiate and rewrite classical acting techniques directed by non-hierarchical ways of working that can develop and strengthen the actor’s/student`s personality artistically. Starting point for the research was:
How can we provide the actor/student with a broadly applicable acting vocabulary that helps to expand classical acting techniques?
How do we train the contemporary actor/student in a fast-moving society, affected by globalization, fragmentation and digitization, which has changed the idea of a distinct identity?
The practical main working tool for approaching these questions is the carousel practice which facilitates the actor/student to discover and create him- or herself as a manifold player in artistic processes.
The Carousel Concept provides an opportunity for actors and students to train different play-positions simultaneously: The position of the performer, the position of the actor, and a mix of both positions through three main acting strategies:
1. Metamorphosic acting: performing oneself/presentation.
2. Mimetic acting: performing oneself as a character/representation.
3. Nomadic acting: both positions simultaneously.
The carousel improvisation has the disconnected but apparently logical form of a dream. Anything can happen. Everything is possible and probable. Time and space do not exist.
The new vocabulary is informed by dramaturg and researcher Mette Tranholm’s PhD Thesis Disincarnation: Jack Smith and the character as assemblage, which refers to a lively traffic between classical Stanislavskian, Brechtian, Artaudian and postdramatic acting techniques. The staging of the nomadic actor in the carousel training is mirrored in the traffic between acting techniques that defines disincarnation.
Tranholm furthermore acted as a production dramaturg throughout my project and research.
This exposition consists of 4 parts:
- The Carousel Club - an assemblage of madness and pleasure
- A ride through the Carousel Concept
- The Carousel Applied
- Concept and Context: A series of theoretical fragments - theory, process, and findings