Research Blog

Academic Research

Our aim is link cutting-edge academic research into historical performance practice with advanced professional training and high-quality performance.

Our academic research is founded on Prof Dr Andrew Lawrence-King's work on historical priorities of Text, Rhythm, Action! begun as Senior Visiting Research Fellow at the Centre for the History of Emotions, University of Western Australia.

Read more about Text, Rhythm, Action! here...  

That investigation continues with research into historical concepts of Enargeia, the emotional power of detailed verbal description, and Energia, emotional force communicated amongst performers and audience members.

Read more about Enargeia & Energia here...

Other historical concepts crucial to this research area are Affetti, the period science of emotions, and Effetti, vocal effects that affect listeners' emotions.

These pairs of interlinked concepts, Enargeia/Energia and Affetti/Effetti 

underpin the historical science of Action, baroque Gesture and period stage-practices. 


Read more about Historical Action here... 

In our experimental work and training, we also apply the historical philosophy of musica modanathe Music of the Spheres, the perfect dance/music created by the movement of the moon, sun, planets and stars around the earth; musica humana, the harmonious nature of the human being; musica instrumentalis, music actually played or sung.

Similarly, Time itself was understood within a pre-Newtonian, Aristotelean framework as cosmic, perfect and defined by sun, moon and stars; human, in the pulse, in the time-beating Tactus hand, in walking or dancing; instrumental, indicated by a pendulum or historical clock [metronomes were not yet invented].

The spirit of Pneuma was also philosophised as three-fold: the mystic breath of life of artistic inspiration; a networked energy within the human mind/body, rather like the Oriental concept of chi; the energetic spirit of  performance, communicating emotions amongst performers and audience.

Pneuma is understood today within studies of Flow, being 'in the Zone',  Mindfulness & Meditation, Altered States of Consciousness and Hypnotism. Andrew Lawrence-King's research in this area, The Theatre of Dreams, is founded on Joe Griffin's theory of the REM-state.

Read more about Flow and the Zone here...

Andrew Lawrence-King's work seeks to understand these historical concepts in the contexts of both period & modern science, and devise training exercises and rehearsal methodologies, by which to apply period philosophy in the real world of modern-day rehearsals and performance. 

Historical Action & Period Stage-Practice