DIY: 2011 – Jamie Lewis Hadley,  Breaking Kayfabe: a 3 day Professional Wrestling intensive

Professional development projects BY artists FOR artists across the UK

DIY 8: 2011 – Call for Participants

Over three days, participants will learn the fundamental moves, holds, rhythms, narrative and character building techniques required to put on a professional wrestling match.


Project summary:
The emphasis of the workshop is on the potentiality of the body. The kinaesthetic demands of Professional Wrestling will be used as a practical methodology in an attempt to stimulate the participant’s engagement with their body as a corporeal site. Rhythm, pattern, weight distribution, endurance and posture are all crucial elements of the discipline and the skills learned from this physical exploration will benefit any artist who works with their body as a communicative device. The intensive will be structured around progressively learning the fundamental physical and psychological principles of wrestling. During the intensive, participants will begin to explore the concept of ‘storytelling’ or the ‘psychology’ of putting on a wrestling match. Within the discipline, the ability to capture and manipulate the spectator’s attention and emotions is crucial, and from this radical approach to the performance/spectator relationship there is huge potential for the acquisition of these skills to be translated into the participant’s own practice.

Intensive dates, times and location:
Tuesday 23 – Thursday 25 August, 2011
9am-5pm (running later on Thursday for de-brief)
Resistance Gallery, Bethnal Green, London

Application procedure:
This call to applicants is open to body based artists across multiple disciplines; this might include performance artists, dancers, physical theatre performers and makers. Applicants should send no more than 1 page stating the following:
• Name, Address and full contact details
• Reason for wanting to participate
• How you think you will benefit from the workshop
• Short statement about artistic practice
• Previous experience of physical activity and current level of fitness

Application deadline: Friday 15 July, 2011

Please note: Professional Wrestling is an incredibly physical activity: bumps, bruises and sprains are common; therefore to minimize the risk of serious injury, applicants should have a reasonably good level of fitness and flexibility. I also recommend purchasing knee pads before participating.

Applications should be sent to [email protected]
Please feel free to contact me on this email with any questions you might have about the intensive.

The artist:
jamie lewis hadley has been training and performing within the wrestling community for over 8 years. Since 2009 he has been crafting and presenting work that utilizes the experiences within this community to make challenging work that interrogates the politics of blood, violence duration and spectator complicity. He is currently engaged in an AHRC funded research project that investigates the performances of masculinities within professional wrestling, and how these performances interact with the dissemination of pain.


This project was a response to the DIY 8 Call for Proposals.

Part of DIY: 2011

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