What works and what doesn’t work

On play

Authored by: Paola Coletto , Jennifer Buckley

The Routledge Companion to Jacques Lecoq

Print publication date:  August  2016
Online publication date:  September  2016

Print ISBN: 9781138818422
eBook ISBN: 9781315745251
Adobe ISBN: 9781317594635


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Jacques Lecoq understood the comforts of certitude. That is why he refused to provide them, both in his school and in his late-career writing about it (Lecoq, 1987, 1997). He knew how satisfying it would feel to ‘build the perfect system’ of actor training, and how gratifying it would feel for students – and readers – to consume a system reducible to ‘fifteen lessons in a manual’ (Lecoq, 2006: 78). In the published books Lecoq did not want to write, he describes all forms of fixity, including absolute definitions of crucial terms like play (le jeu), as ‘temptations’ (Lecoq, 2002: 21) to be resisted by both teachers and artists (Murray, 2003: 51–54). Tempted to conclusively define le jeu in an academic essay – a genre not globally renowned for its playfulness – we chose instead to conduct our inquiry as a conversation.

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