University of Tasmania

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Sonorous theatre - dark voices in revolt : uniting the core, proximity and the human voice in crisis

posted on 2023-05-26, 03:17 authored by Lewis, R
This thesis outlines the process of combining various non-conventional Occidental and Oriental voice and movement practices in order to create an alternate method of training and performance. Throughout this investigation, a series of original training methodologies have been developed which comprised of five distinct yet interconnected stages, and several performances that incorporated these training aesthetics. The training of voice and body as one entity is not a new concept, and many theatre practitioners have experimented with these elements. The convergence of voice and body has been investigated for most part of the 20th Century and has continued to develop throughout the past decade. Physiologically, the voice is housed within the body. It is therefore logical to initially focus on the physical aspect of vocal training, and to combine the separate voice and movement training in both logical and illogical senses in order to unify these two separate yet interconnected elements. This investigation does not claim to discover a new performance aesthetic, actor training method or a new physical and vocal training aesthetic. It aims to examine various combinations of existing Oriental and Occidental methods in order to discover an alternate to the multifaceted area of the human voice in performance pertaining to the notion of 'crisis'. The work explored throughout this investigation, using the Voice Theatre Lab as a means of exploration in training and performance, is the result of the application of various synergies, dichotomies and contradictions. These contradictions and abstract applications abandon literal and textual realities, and focuses on opposites and non-conventional means of vocal production and physical states. The result is a series of training and performance aesthetics that go beyond the quotidian forms of physical and vocal expression. The title itself, Sonorous Theatre - Dark Voices in Revolt: Uniting the core, proximity and the human voice in crisis, represents these illogical and contradictory aspects. Sonority (deep and resonant), relates to the overall affect the performers extra-daily instrument has on the immediate (performance space and other performers) and surrounding (audiences and the peripheries of the performance space) spaces. In some Oriental viewpoints, 'dark' simply means 'inner' or 'deeper'. A 'dark' voice would therefore refer to a voice that has connections deep in the body. By eradicating logic and textual reality, the performer would have greater access to the deeper parts of the unconscious. This will result in a genuine sound free from idiosyncratic patterns that may hinder the reality of the vocal and physical expression, which would therefore hinder the reality of the performance. Overall, the concept of a 'dark' voice is a revolt against conventional Occidental vocal practices in the theatre. Vocal expression and voice work provides the key for the performer to rediscover their mysterious entity ‚Äö- an inner voice of the unconscious through improvisations and non-verbal expressions. Voice Theatre Lab are not bound by the semantic meaning of words. The freedom from not having connections to meaning enables performers to explore a range of concrete and abstract elements. This investigation, and Voice Theatre Lab's ongoing work, aims to maintain the view that voice is indeed an immensely important tool which has been neglected. Also, physical and conceptual crisis, as opposed to freedom, relaxation and textual, 'literal reality', can benefit the voice and allow it to flourish and reveal its many colours and nuances.


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Copyright 2011 the author

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