A arte do ator a possessão: os Estados Alterados de Consciência (ASC) nas suas inter-relações com o Teatro. (The art of the actor and possession: Altered States of Consciousness (ASC) and correlations with Theatre.)

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This study, translated into Portuguese by the editor, stems from my specific interest in trance and altered states of consciousness. I am concerned with their use in theatre through what Jerzy Grotowski called "personal techniques", a set of principles and tools of practical knowledge which the performer, conceived in a non-strictly theatrical sense, uses for the harmonic development and discovery of the self. The text is organised in three different parts. Firstly, I introduce the research method. Here, before delving into a detailed analysis and definition of the state of possession, the altered states and their correlation with the art of the actor, I illustrate the reasons why a study on this topic can be considered useful today. The second part is devoted to a detailed analysis of the phenomenon, which uses historical, psychiatric and anthropological sources, yet filtered through a rigorous theatre studies approach. Here I propose a scale of trance, which sees possession as the highest observable performance experience of such. Finally, in the third and final part, I present - mostly translated from original languages - and comment a number of key texts taken from some of the main XX century European theatre practitioners and theorists works, showing evidence of the connection between this discipline and trance possession and its usability in artistic contexts, as a part of a research based approach on art as a vehicle for spiritual development. The book is also formed by important contributions by a number of prominent Brazilian scholars, however it resulted from a series of conferences and practice-based activities that I delivered in Brazilian non-institutional as well as HE Institutional contexts during the past two years, and in particular at the University of Uberlandia, in Minas Gerais. This long essay constitutes the core of the book, which ends with the transcription of a lecture that Grotowski gave in Rio de Janeiro in 1974.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGrotowski estados alterados de consciência: teatro, máscara, ritual
EditorsJoice Brondani Aglae
Place of PublicationSão Paulo, Brazil
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jul 2015



  • Theatre
  • Actor
  • Possession
  • Altered States of Consciousness (ASC)
  • Grotowski

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