Phillip Zarrilli in 'Told by the Wind'.

Drama Professor takes critically acclaimed production ‘Told by the Wind’ on tour to Tokyo

Phillip Zarrilli, Professor of Performance Practice at the University of Exeter and Artistic Director of The Llanarth Group, travels to Tokyo with The Llanarth Group’s East Asian inspired production ‘Told by the Wind’.

Two figures, two lives, multiple time spaces: ‘Told by the Wind’ is a performance of movement and text that ‘dances’ an inner landscape. Inspired by East Asian and post-dramatic aesthetics, the production uses embodied silences, splintered interactions and slowed down motion to evoke and tell stories.

The Llanarth Group was established in 2000 and is an association of theatre and performance artists dedicated to producing high quality international theatre through in-depth psychophysical training of actors from all cultures. ‘Told by the Wind’ was co-created by Professor Zarrilli, playwright Kaite O’Reilly and performer Jo Shapland. Input was also received from Dr Mari Boyd, a Japanese theatre specialist and Peader Kirk, an artist and director.

The production will perform twice at Babylon Theatre Tokyo on 10 and 11 November. Funded by the DAIWA Anglo-Japanese Foundation and Wales Arts International, along with assistance from the University of Exeter, the performances mark the beginning of a two week collaborative exchange between Zarrilli and Okamura Yojiro, Artistic Director of AMI Theatre, Tokyo. The exchange will include the sharing of work-processes and will begin exploratory discussions towards a future collaborative project in 2014.

Professor Zarrilli comments, "During our two week exchange with Okamura Yojiro, we have experienced several performances of his most recent play, 'Silent Rain in the Neander Forest', I have given a three day intensive workshop and we are in the process of giving three performances of 'Told by the Wind'. We then begin a week of intensive discussions about a future collaborative new production we hope to produce during 2014".

'Told by the Wind' recently visited Huddersfield at the end of October. Three performances took place at the Lawrence Batley Theatre at the University of Huddersfield as part of a symposium on ‘Psychophysical Performance as Mindfulness Practice’. Professor Zarrilli also delivered a major keynote address on ‘From Stanislavsky and Zeami to today: the actor’s work on attention, awareness and active imagination’.

Professor Phillip Zarrilli is internationally known for training actors in an intensive pre-performative processes combining yoga and Asian martial arts—kalarippayattu from Kerala, India, and taiqiauan Wu style from China. He is also internationally known as a director and performer. He teaches this pre-performative process of training actors at his private studio in Wales, and throughout the world.

For an extract of the performance, more information on ‘Told by the Wind’ and the Llanarth Group’s other work, please visit Phillip Zarrilli’s website, and the University of Exeter’s Drama pages.

Date: 8 November 2013

Read more University News