WARMUP-THAT-BODY

  • During this exercise students should be challenged to utilize the skills of ‘moving throughout the space dynamically’

  • You imagine that your space is an ocean and the rest of your ensemble are corks.

  •  As you walk through the space, and you approach another cork, the air pockets in between force you to spin in a different direction.

  • Explore how the space that exists between two bodies causes an un-planned change of direction.

  • This creates a much more free-flowing spatial relationship of the entire ensemble.

  • They continue to explore and develop their skills in ensemble awareness and how to allow another student to affect their movement in the space [ie. beginning to play with impulse and kinesthetic response].

 

CORKS IN THE WATER

WELCOME TO THE BEGINING PHASES OF YOUR SHAEKSPEARE TRAINING

IN THIS SECTION YOU WILL FIND 

 

 

  • Alignment & Centering

  • Corks in the Water

  • Zoom: Variations

  • Exploring the space

  • Stories existing in the imagination

  • Limbs be burning

  • Manipulating the space

  • Socks and sticks

 

  • This exercise aims to develop an awareness of body memory

  • Taking their own place within the space. Close their eyes and slowly begin to bring their awareness internally. To bring consciousness to their breath, breathing in and out.

  • Guide them through, or as suggested below; As you breath in, take the breath right through your body. Feel your ribs, shoulders and spine move. With each breath feel the movement pass through your body, feel it sooth your tired limbs, muscles. As you continue to breath in and out, slowly allow the breaths to become bigger.

  • The air you take in is coming from even further away and the air you breathe out is coming from ever deeper inside your lungs and being released into the space.

  • On the next breath, let it travel through the parts of your body that before today you were not aware of.

  • The exploration that you have done has awoken muscles, nerves, energies that have never before been sparked.

  • Bring your attention to these. Make yourselves familiar with these parts and connect with them. Your body operates like the brain; it will remember what you have explored today.

  • On the inward breath allow that breath to pass through your body and concrete this memory.

  • On the outward breath relinquish all control of gravity and allow yourself to melt slowly sinking your feet deeper and deeper into the ground, your knees slowly are released from keeping your upright and your body follows flopping over.

  • Shoulders relaxed, fingers hanging, arms swaying, neck loosely hangs. On the outward breath, release a sound, any sound. Release.

  • Release everything. Now slowly bring yourselves up to neutral position. Bring your awareness back into the space.

ALIGNMENT & CENTERING

  • Zoom can be played with multiple variations

  • This particular version requires students to be in a circle, focus inwards.

  • The leader begins by sending a single clap either right or left. Students send the clap around the circle [begin with one clap, in one direction]

  • Work on increasing the specificity, clarity and pace of the energy being sent around the circle

  • Once students gain confidence, begin adding more claps in both directions.

  • This means that there are multiple claps traveling in both directions around the circle.

  • There will be times where they will intersect students – meaning they will immediately have to clap left then right.

  • You will find that you may send 5 claps but 3 or 4 will be dropped.

  • The aim is for the students to be focused/listening enough to juggle all claps.

 

ZOOM

 

Transforming the classroom – to a space of potential

  • This is a great exercise to open an awareness and potential of working within a space. To finding a state of readiness – to feel more three-dimensional, when the actor is in this state – there is no dead space in the actor. It is also a great pre-curser to working with Anne Bogart’s The Viewpoints.

  • Walking around the space

  • First as an ensemble find how to ‘balance the space’- beginning with two people

  • imagine that you are on a piece of cardboard with a pin in the middle as your only source of gravity, you are floating in the galaxy and in order to keep your grounding as an ensemble you must find a way to balance the space

  • Slowly add people – until everyone is moving through the space at the same time.

  • Debrief/reflection – beginning to unpack ‘ensemble, group awareness, spatial awareness’ why are these important when working together/when performing.

 

Part 2 – re-enter the space in a state of ‘readiness’ 

  • Enter the ‘stage’ again – but this time do so with intention – as your neutral self, from the minute you enter a space – you are performing.

  • Explore the way not them as a student aimlessly walking around the space but how the body of a performer moves around the space – so the extraordinary neutral body. They are alive, ready, imbued with potential – curious!

 

Part 3 – exploring tempo

  • Explore the different pace at which you can move around the space – from 1 to 10. 1 being the Slowest, 10 being as fast as you can go – still maintaining a balance spatial awareness and group awareness. Introduce the element of dynamic stillness or the dynamism of slow tempo – get them to go from 10 to 0 [stillness] immediately. And hold that – not to rest – but ready to take off again at any point.

  • Encourage them to find the game – avoid letting the physical tiredness stop you from playing the game – when they were 3, they loved to run! If another person looks to serious poke your things out at them.

 

Part 5 – testing their spatial awareness

  •  Get them to go from 10 to 0 and close their eyes – test their spatial and group awareness – ie. Who are you standing next to, how far are you away from the door etc. [note - What they say – it’s never wrong – as long as they sell it confidently].

  • Debrief – drawing reference to things like physical endurance of performance, commitment, juggling multiple elements at once [spatial awareness, group awareness, commitment to tempo, keeping eyesight to the horizon, being alive and a curious explorer of the space etc].

EXPLORING THE SPACE

LIMBS BE BURNING

  • This exercise was inspired by La Fura Dels Baus Collaborator Younes Bachir.

  • Everybody stands in a circle, focus placed in the centre.

  • Knees slightly bent, body centred.

  • When everyone is ready the energy will shift inwards on a clap.

  • Rub the hands together to generate energy

  • Using the left hand first – transfer that energy into the right arm by rubbing it at a fast pace [waking up all the cells in that limb.]

  • Everybody comes to a stop. Focus returned to the centre of the circle

  • Again when everyone is ready, bring energy inwards on a clap, and rub the hands together.

  • This time transferring the energy through the left hand by rubbing the right arm.

  • Repeat this process of focus, clap, rub hands together, and rub the different limbs of the entire body [each leg, bellies, back, face, head].

  • At the commencement of this exercise the entire body will feel warm and surging with energy.

MANIPULATING THE SPACE

 

  • This exercise is a great pre-curser to doing impulse work

  • Begin by instructing the students to find their own place in the space

  • Close eyes, centre themselves, unlock their knees and focus on their breath

  • Guide them to imagine that there are a billion little microfibers extending from every inch of your body [one section at a time] and are attached to the wall in front/beside/behind you

  • As you move different limbs very slowly imagine that those microfibers pull and manipulate the space around you.

  • Encourage them to feel the extraordinary energy and stage presence that they hold.

  • Centre themselves, bring their awareness to today, to this moment, to working with their ensemble openly and in a state of readiness

SOCKS & STICKS

 

  • This exercise, whilst simple, is a great one to get them to find their ability to listen, to be open, aware and responsive to their ensemble.

  • Begin by circling students up. Don’t focus them, just begin. [the more chaotic the better the discovery]

  • Say someone’s name and indicate that they repeat by catching the sock and saying another students name and throwing it to them.

  • Once they are confident in this

  • Throw in 4/5 more pairs of socks/balls.

  • Step out and allow them to struggle with it – do not discourage laughter and the students making a big deal out of dropping it. In fact – even encourage it.

  • Allow it to escalate – then signal that the exercise is over and for everyone to return the socks back to you.

  • Now simply state – now we will repeat the exercise – but no one is aloud to speak. Everyone will focus their energy, awareness and eye line to a point in the middle of the circle. You must use your group awareness and peripheral vision to sense the ball coming towards you. The key is to listen to each other. Unlock your bodies; be focused, ready and engaged.

  • Repeat the exercise

  • Discuss.

  • This exercise has been done [however probably not suitable to a class-room environment] with gypsy sticks – and not confined to a circle but running around the room – explaining even the possibility of this – allows them to transfer their experience to one that could endure potential danger if they weren’t to listen to each other.

  • A discussion breaking down performance can spring from this also – exploring stage presence, focus, listening, ensemble skills, readiness and maintaining energy.

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