Aesthetic diversities I: Realism and its discontents—some different ways forward

Aesthetic diversities I: Realism and its discontents—some different ways forward

Daniel provides context for our theatre’s tendency to embrace a ‘realistic’ aesthetic, and provides alternative perspectives on space, time and action by drawing on a variety of other-than-Western performance traditions.


Aesthetic diversities I: Realism and its discontents — some different ways forward, Daniel Mroz

Daniel Mroz

Daniel Mroz is a theatre director and acting teacher. Devoted to the creation of original contemporary performance, he leads Les Ateliers du corps, a theatre training and performance studio in based in Ottawa.

Daniel’s directing and choreographic work has been presented by the Évènement Zones Théâtrales (Ottawa), the Canada Dance Festival (Ottawa), the Rhubarb Festival (Toronto), the Summerworks Festival (Toronto) and the Catskill International Festival of New Theater (New York). The Dancing Word, his book on the use of Chinese martial arts in the training of contemporary actors and dancers, is published by Rodopi Press. He is Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies for the Department of Theatre of the University of Ottawa where he teaches acting and directing, in English and French, to both undergraduate and graduate students.




  1. How might exercises like the one Daniel walks you through be linked to an actor's aesthetic style?
  2. How has your own personal training been influenced by the ways in which you were taught?
  3. What is the risk an actor faces when doing repetitive physical scores? What are the benefits?
  4. How might an actor combat the risk of bias during their training?
  5. How might something like a ‘neutral position’ be linked with aesthetic style?
  6. In a group, research two of the artists from the list Daniel provides. Compare their aesthetic styles then and share your findings.

References and Resources 

Some International Artists to Investigate

Joan Littlewood

Michael Chekhov

Evgeniy Vahtangov

Rudolph Laban

Mary Wigman

Tadeusz Kantor

Julian Beck and Judith Malina

Pina Bausch

Anne Bogart

Elizabeth LeCompte

Ushio Amagatsu

Min Tanaka

JoAnne Akalaitis

Jacques LeCoq

Étienne Decroux

Jean-Louis Barreault

Tim Etchells

Edward Gordon Craig

Simon McBurney

Tadashi Suzuki

Peter Schumann

Eimuntas Nekrosius

Peter Sellars

Max Reinhardt

Richard Foreman

Jacques Copeau

Kazuo Ohno

Giorgio Strelher

Peter Stein

Meredith Monk

John Nobbs and Jacqui Carroll


Canadian Festivals showcasing Aesthetic Diversity

Évenement Zones Théâtrales



World Stage



Freeman, B, Maclean, A; Mroz, D; Norris, S;  Wells, K; Yamamoto Bae, M. Aesthetic Diversity in Actor Training. Canadian Theatre Review No. 160.


Mroz, D. Cycles of Creation: Michael Chekhov and The Yinyang Wuxing Cosmology in The Routledge Companion to Michael Chekhov edited by Yana Meerzon and Marie-Christine Autant-Mathieu, forthcoming Routledge Press, published 2015.


Mroz, D., The Dancing Word: An Embodied Approach to the Practice of Contemporary Theatrical Performance. Rodopi Press (Netherlands/U.S.A.) for the series Consciousness, Literature and the Arts, editor Dr. Daniel Meyer-Dingräfe, University of Lincoln (U.K.) Published 2011

Mroz, D. La Chaleur est mémoire, L¹Annuaire Théâtral, Journal of the Société Québecoises des études théâtrales, numéro 52, automne 2012 (published fall 2014)

Mroz, D., Speaking in a Visceral Language: From performer preparation to performance composition. Theatre Research in Canada, Vol. 27, 2006, No. 1


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