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Movement directing teacher Ayse Tashkiran: ‘Keep communicating the joy of movement’

Ayse Tashkiran. Photo: Ellie Kurttz Ayse Tashkiran. Photo: Ellie Kurttz
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Job Title: MA MFA Movement: Directing and Teaching co course leader and freelance movement director at Royal Central School of Speech and Drama

How did you start in theatre?

I joined the school drama club aged 11, read drama at Bristol University and trained with Jacques Lecoq in Paris. I have always loved movement, danced and played sports. I worked professionally as an actor before becoming a teacher and movement director.

What is the best piece of advice you

have for students today?

Movement directors have to be advocates for movement first and build an effective career around that commitment. Movement direction is always evolving, so having a strong peer network is important – to anchor yourself.

What would you change about training in the UK?

Theatres should help trainees move into careers by becoming more knowledgeable about the contribution that movement makes to the production, and by considering bodies and movement earlier in a planning process.

What is the best part of your job?

Accompanying students on what is often a seismic moment of change. In theatre we know we are likely to meet again – so training is not abstract but concrete.

And your least favourite?

Dirty rehearsal floors and disorderly working spaces.

Which practitioners do you admire the most?

I have worked with many female directors and teachers whose support, artistry and vision has been powerful. Each time I work with a new group of actors, I am nourished by their imaginations. As a movement director my inspirations include Pina Bausch and Beyonce.

What is the one skill every movement director and teacher should have?

To choose work wisely, keep their attention on the work and keep communicating the joy of movement to the actors they direct and teach.

How do you see your field of movement teaching and directing developing?

The field is growing. To keep that momentum, I would like to see more ‘assistantships’ where working movement directors help develop the next generation.

Ayse Tashkiran was talking to John Byrne

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