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Responsive Performance Practice is a training program developed and led by Leisa Shelton.  It has grown out of years of professional practice within contemporary performance, and continuous investigation with many of the worlds leading teachers, directors and innovators. It draws directly from the embodied actor training developed by Etienne Decroux, the rehearsal processes of Pina Bausch via Meryl Tankard, Autonomous Actor training as developed by Lindy Davies, alongside a continuing dialogue with Eastern principles of theatre practice.

The teaching is an act of transmission actively focusing on enabling and developing a performer’s intuitive, responsive, articulate awareness of space, those within it and their relationship to the material under investigation. The techniques offer a deeper understanding of, and relationship to, the interconnectedness of the body and voice within authentic performance language.

Responsive Performance Practice offers on-going training for the establishment of a community of practitioners. It focuses on creating continuous opportunities for independent artists to develop their practice by working alongside others with a shared connection to the development of new directions for contemporary performance within an Australian context.


OPEN TRAINING – Runs throughout the year, one day a week in blocks of 4-8weeks. Each session investigates elements of performance making – from the language of light and sound, to the rhythmic dynamics of listening, to considering image as thought – writing as movement and the breathe as central to all aspects of the making process. This is alongside a continuous development of – Responsive Performance Practice – performance training, which focuses on the development of receptivity, responsiveness and the dynamic relationships between the breath, space and one another. Extended Dialogue follows each session over a shared lunch, creating the opportunity for current projects and ideas to be talked through and shared with the group. The day then finishes with Open Space practice for which the studio is made available for 3hrs for individuals to continue working, meeting, rehearsing.

Several times a year the series extends to include the PROVOCATION SERIES. This body of work takes the investigations of the training toward performative outcomes by providing weekly Performance Tasks.


In response to the Provocation, each individual makes a 10min piece, which is viewed by the group and creates the material around which we then open a dialogue that considers ‘performance making’ in detail. This process aims to extend, challenge and expand each individual’s current work.

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