There is no "Empty Space" -- the space without time doesn't exist! Space with Time is DRAMATIC!

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... chronotope & "montage principle" in theatre.

"Book of Spectator" topics : TIME + SPADE in Theatre Theory [ time as space and space as time ] "Subjective Time" & "Dramatic Space"

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    Chronotope -- Actor's Space & Time *
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    Chronotope [time + space]: I can't talk in detials about this category, you should go to the Time in Script Analysis. Here we only use time and space to understand how actor actor controls and operates the spectator's choronotope (also, see The Book of Spectator on theory of subjective and objective time-space).

    In our case we treat time and space not as themes, but actor's and spectator's unified fields and apparatus of emotional communications.

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    "The rest is silence." (Hamlet) -- Now you can act!

    New Terms:

    * Center of Gravity Concept

    * Subjective & Objective Time & Space

    * Moving Points

    * Actor's Chronotope

    * Mise-en-scene

    * Actor's Text

    This chapter is very important and very theoretical. As I said, I use the term chronotope introduced into literary theory by Mikail Bakhtin, developed around the same time, when the theory of biomechanics was formed.

    Meyerhold believed that Actor is Artist and everything that applies to a composer or a writer, does work for actors. If we to accept the notion that any performance is a "composition" -- we can see how useful the Concept of Chronotope is.


    I have to move the theory issues to different places: The Book of Spectator and Theatre Theory (Chronotope). Also, this topic must be studying together with Time and Space pages/chapters. There are several subjects (vectors, axis of action and so on), I can't touch without dealing with the general ideas of "physics" of stage.


    Silence is the element in which great things fashion themselves. --Carlyle, Sartor Resartus
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    Semiotics in Russian

    2007 -- pages


    Read Film Directing 101 (POV) pages
    More and more I use film terminology in BM class; simple as CU and MS frame -- or more complex, like line of action, axis of tention.
    INDEX * fundamentals of acting * Theatre w/Anatoly * Virtual Theatre
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    [ This page is better developed in StageMatrix: Directing. In fact it has a subdirectory.

    ...and Method Acting for Directors ]

    Bakhtin [Holquist and Caryl Emerson] define chronotope as
    a unit of analysis for studying texts according to the ratio and nature of temporal and spatial categories ... An optic for reading texts as x-rays of the forces at work in the culture system from which they spring. [Dialogic Imagination 425-426]
    chronotope: the meeting place of these voices - "the place where the knots of narrative are tied and untied." [Mikhail Bakhtin, The Dialogic Imagination: Four Essays, ed. Michael Holquist, trans. Caryl Emerson & Michael Holquist (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1981)]

    Actor's Chronotope

    Mikhail Bakhtin uses it (as well as Eistein); the term means that time and space are not separatable. I use it to introduce the creation of the SUBJECTIVE time (more in Spectator Directory and in Film Directing). Drama doesn't exist outside of the show's chronotope, which is a subjective time of a spectator. Of course, director creates it within the spectacle, but actors do have the last word. How does actor establish this "channel"?

    First, we have to aknowledge the objective (real) dimensions (3 D and the chronological time). This is our material. The time could be conctrol only by the changes in space. This is why Mise-en-Scene is so important. Movement is the answer.

    "... we respond to gestures with an extreme alertness and, one might almost say, in accordance with an elaborate and secret code that is written nowhere, known by none, and understood by all." --Edward Sapir, Anthropologist (1927)

    What is movement? Physical changes in space and time. If you put together 3D space and time, and yourself in the middle of it, you as a generator of this 4D field of action -- you got it, the chronotope of physical drama. Within this 4D field Actor composes his "texts"!

    This is SUBJECTIVE time and space formed out of the objective time and space, yours and the public. "Subjective" means transformed by the action. In the BM case, by the movement (motivated = dramatic).

    The semiotics theory insists that everything is a sign and therefore every move on stage is a statement we "read" (including the absence of motion). Movement is one of many stage languages and should be composed as a sentence. Actor "writes" one sentence after another and we have Actor's Text (for example, in ballet it's poetry genre). The 4D Chronotope is the "paper" where actor "writes" his movement texts. This is why it has to staged (mise-en-scene) or choreographed. Do we have to do it with every step like in dance (one-two-three)? Not at all, but we have to have the design, the pattern to follow.

    The costume helps. In acting classes (or rehearsals) sometimes I have to force it on: to break the man's walk I tie the knees together to make a "small steps" or feet -- to limit the step. I have to refer you to beliveability principle discussed in System of the Method: if I do not recognize the woman's walk, age, character continuity -- you lost me. Once you lost me, you have to start it all over!
    How do we know when the chronotope is broken? We notice actor, we are no longer live the character.

    Time = Space (II )BioMechanics: Contents
    Nothing is often a good thing to do and always a good thing to say. --Will Durant
    BioMX Theory for Actors
    I am not sure, if you should start with this chapter, or read first Space and Time chapters. Of course I am talking about Actor's Space and Actor's Time!

    Originally, the idea of chronotope was use by the physics to describe the organic unity between time and space. Since the great revolution of Einstein we came to realization that matter, time and space can't be separated. Through identification with the action on stage, our spectator "experiences" matter, but for the actor "matter" is a subject to work with (or to react to, as like to tell my students).

    I do not have time to introduce in details the theory of moving points, which is based on Meyerhold's idea, and which can explain the concept of chronotope in visual terms. Imagine that your every motion is lead by one point in your body. You have to identify the center on motion from where the whole movement of your body is generated.

    In Acting 121 classes I explain it as a center of gravity in order to explain how the age characterization is expressed physically. Where do you think the center of gravity is in a child body? The head of course! It's disproportionally big and they fall on the head all the time! What about man's body? The chest. What about the old age?... On the floor! That the old folks drag their feet, and very old are not able even to take their feet off the floor.

    Now, using the "center of gravity" principle, try to do three different ages in a simple exercise of geeting up from a chair. In youthful design your head will lead the body; in the old age -- position your center of gravity under the chair and try to lift it.

    We can move this concept one step further. The gender physical definition. Where is the center of gravity in a woman? We know it from countless parodies -- the hips! But what if I want to extend it further in characterization? Each of us have our own specific position, right? Look around, each in class has his or her own -- try to immitate your favorite classmate! Observation! Remember?

    All right, now position your center of gravity into your left hand.... You see? Make is a PHYSICAL CENTER of your body! Listen, this center is moving from scene to scene! Hamlet physical definition in his scene with Ophelia is different from the scene with Horatio and etc.

    Now, imagine that this center of energy (matter) is the source of the subjective space and time you create: this is the sphere where your character exists and the spectator lives in with his (see Identification Principle).

    Call it the visual center of the drama: your character has it and you, actor, is in charge of it.

    How all the dramatic focuses in the scene work together? Ask your director. This is the DRAMATIC UNIVERSE of the show.

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    "Her pure, rosy lips were half smiling; her candid, serene forehead was clouded now and then by her thoughts, like a mirror which is momentarily breathed upon; and from her long, lowered eyelashes emanated a kind of ineffable light which gave her profile that ideal sweetness which Raphael was later to find at the mystic point of intersection of virginity, maternity and divinity." --Victor Hugo, regarding La Esmeralda, The Hunchback of Notre Dame [Meyer on acting]


    Your (actor's) space and time must be created. The character's chronotope must be maintained.

    [ The best if I focus on chronotope in The Book of Spectator ]

    How one role's chronotope relates to another Actor's Text? During the exposition class I talk about establishing the style, genre ("ensemble acting" -- I do not have this page). (new) 2003 *


    Read pre-acting and rehearse entrance and exit for your scene and character. Both have the same elements: entrance to recognize it, exit -- to remember. Entrance - first impression (don't miss it), exit -- how the public will remember it (your last chance to place the image of your character into their long term memory)!
    plan Controlled chronotope:

    "Mise-en-scene" is a French theatrical expression for the kind of staging matrix one would find in a director's text with specific arrangements of time and space on stage to control actors, playscript and public.
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    I fear that this page will multiply. "Moving Points" technique asks for its own page.

    [ Terra Mobile, St. Petersburg, Russia, 1992-94 developed and practice this technique: RAT files ]

    [ image ]

    Next: Mise-en-Scene
    [ Connections with Einstein; time-space-matter and the revolution in theatre ]

    Chronotope [encyclopedia]: A term taken over by Mikhail Bakhtin from 1920s science to describe the manner in which literature represents time and space. In different kinds of writing there are differing chronotopes, by which changing historical conceptions of time and space are realized. Thus the ancient Greek novel is dominated by "adventure time", in which the adventures of hero and heroine occur but which has no developmental impact upon their characters; like the space in which their adventures happen, it is effectively empty. By contrast, the time and space of the chivalric romance, though it retains elements of this adventure time, is dominated by the irruptions of the miraculous, which manifest themselves in narrative terms by the presence of "suddenly". Chronotopes can become condensed in fundamental organising metaphors like the chronotope of the road, by which basic conceptions of time and space get translated into narrative terms. Chronotopic analysis thus seeks to address literary history at a very fundamental level; it mediates between historically created and thus changing conceptions of time and space, and their realisation in the underlying narratives of literary texts.

    [ also, "event theory" ]

    Raikh "The truest expression of a people is its dances and its music. Bodies never lie." --Agnes de Mille Beatrice

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