Monday, 6 January 2014

Yr2 Week 9 (Thurs 12 Dec - Producing and Directing workshop)

In today's workshop, we returned to the field of acting, but this time, instead of the director's view, we looked at it from the actor's P.O.V, specifically, the art of improvisation (more on that in a bit).

We began by looking at 'Movement Psychology', an idea first proposed by Rudolph Laban (1871-1958), who felt hat motion is bought on by desire, an that by studying those movements, it could say a lot about a person. his later refined by others into 8 Basic Efforts, which also double usefully for actors to figure out little mannerisms, quirks and characteristics of their characters. he 8 are as follows, which are made up of 4 continums (Weight i.e. Strong/Light, Space i.e. Direct/Flexible, Time i.e. Sudden/Sustained and, though not used here, Flow i.e. Bound/free, which are self explanatory when it comes to the question of movement):
  1. Pressing (It is a 'Direct' form of action, it is 'sustained' for a period of time and it is 'strong'/requires strength)
  2. Flicking (It is a 'flexible' action, it is sustained, and it is 'light'/doesn't require much effort)
  3. Ringing (flexible, sustained and it is strong)
  4. Dabbing (Direct, it is a 'sudden' action, and it is strong) 
  5. Slashing (flexible, sudden and strong)
  6. Gliding (direct, sustained and light)
  7. Thrusting (direct, sudden and strong)
  8. Floating (flexible, sustained and light)
This, in turn, can be broken down further as 6 character types/inner attitudes:
  1. Near vs Remote (the physical, how in tune someone is with their environment)
  2. Awake vs A Dream (the intellectual and the conscious)
  3. Stable vs Mobile (the emotional aspect of a person)
To get to really soak this in more directly, we did a quick movement exercise, walking in different positions and walks, expressing our sentiments (loose and relaxed, direct and straight etc.) and how much that says without any sort of dialogue. And now, to the highlight of the evening, the activity: in groups, went off and had to improvise a scenario, with two acting and a third directing. I went off with Kacper and a girl (I apologize as I don't recall the name right now), and we came with a scenario where, after a length of time, a young man tries to rekindle the trust of his love, but she knows about his habits (gambling and other vice) and rebuffs him. The scene played well, though many felt it rambled at points, and given the short time we had to come up with the scenario, the two made up more material as they were performing (not a bad thing, necessarily, as that was the point of this session, but it was a little hindering in terms of narrative, though again, not the focus.)

To conclude, today was a good bit of fun, and once more, gave me a chance to flex my directing muscles and work with actors, finding quirks or ironing out bugs in a performance (not the most technical description, but you get the point) and well, we had a good few laughs. Always a great way to end a working week.

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