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BioMX Dictionary 2009 LUL

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Aristotle (Poetics) : 6 Elements/Principles

Structure :

1. Plot

2. Character

3. Thought

Texture :

4. Language

5. Music

6. Spectacle

... kinesics – the study of body movements, gestures, facial expressions, etc., as a means of communication. [glossary]

TOPICS: drama + comedy + postmodern + time + space + theory + BioMethod + objectives & obctacles + film + students + theatre w/anatoly +
The definition of the word biomechanics: the mechanics of biological and especially muscular activity.
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* BM glossary (new)

Glossary @ THR w/Anatoly

new Spring 2002 THR221 Intermediate Acting (focus on biomechanics) * Comedy & Biomechanics Forum *



See other Glossary Pages @ Theatre w/Anatoly: I, II & III levels! And Bio-Method Glossary
(Use the photos and pictures to draw the vectors).

(terms are not sorted out yet)

Acting2 Group

Film Glossary

I mark with "*" the terms students in THR221 Intermediate Acting must know for tests!


Script Analysis
Method Acting
200 Aesthetics
Film Directing
Theatre Theory
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film books

theatre books


iconicity and semiotics of body language *

general theatre glossary: 1 * 2 * 3 * 4 * 5

'''Kabuki''' [Japanese language|Japanese]: meaning song or dance, is a traditional form of Japanese theatre. It was founded in 1603 by [[Okuni]], an attendant from [[Izumo Shrine]], who introduced her style of dance in the dry river beds of [[Kyoto]]; the style was instantly popular. Initially kabuki was ensemble dancing performed by women. When the government banned women from the stage to protect public morals in 1629, then banned young men from the stage in 1652, Kabuki developed into a sophisticated, highly stylized and all-male form called yaro kabuki. The men who play the roles of women are referred to as [[onnagata]]. The other two major styles are [[oregata]] (Masculine) and [[wagata]] (Comical). Its development was pioneered by Ichikawa Danjuro (1660-1704) in Edo and Sakata Tojuro (1647-1709) in the Kyoto-Osaka area.


Please, read acting for the camera pages in advance: Actors in Film Directing, Film in BM and Camera in Method Acting -- before we have video-sessions in class! You have to have your monologues shots-broken (Actor's Text). Must know film terminology.
2004 & After

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Theatre Biomechanics: The field of study concerned with the art of movement.
energy : dynamic quality that can never be destroyed; it can only be changed into different forms.

-- guided discovery : a style of teaching that involves the teacher guiding rather than directing the learner through a series of tasks.

221 Acting Notes

M. Chekhov -- Acting One: Fundamentals

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2008 --

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BM Theory for Actors
There are [too many] new terms without definitions; I will try to do it on the subject pages in the Summary sections (bottom). Hang on, kids!


Brecht - Biomechanics Acting One

"BioMX Theory for Actors" is for advanced actors and directors. If you are not familiar with the Method, perhaps, you better start with the Stanislavsky System (System of the Method). After all, Meyerhold developed his BM in reaction to the System by Stanislavsky. I use Stanislavsky's terminology (objective, obstacle, and etc.) very much the same way Meyerhold did, as a ground for his theories.

Acting is seen from the Event Theory POV, which is in the book "Spectator" (dramatic action is the continuety of the events created by actors in spectator's imagination).

*Address -- To whom character/actor adresses the action (line). There are several obvious addresses: 1. Public, 2. Another Character, 3. Himself, 4. God, and etc. The choice of addresses is closely linked with motivation.

*Acting Areas -- Established zones of performance by an actor, according to the design of the monologue or scene with defined emotional points in space and time.

*Area -- A portion of the stage for playing a scene and segments of the scene (used for lighting also).

*Acting: technology of the performance.

*Action -- expressed conflict.

*Actor's Text -- movement developed and performed by actor in space and time.

*Axis -- the main line of action.

*Aim -- First step in Acting Cycle.

angular motion : rotation about an axis.

anxiety : the negative interpretation of increased arousal.


Balance -- Relative structural stability of objects or event within the stage. Specifically, the distribution of vectors into stable, neutral pictorial structure: 1. A factor in designing a floor plan, scenery, actor placement on the stage, or composition; typically symmetrical or asymmetrical. 2. A concept regarding the competing conflicts.

*Beat -- A performer's unit of measurement describing the character's thoughts. goal, or desires; the beginning to end of a single intention or state of mind (action unit, motivational unit -- the smallest measurable piece of a single action with its own beginning, middle, and end.).

Biological Time -- An internal clock that tells us when to feel awake or tired. A type of subjective time, measured quantitatively.

Body -- Actor's Medium

*Breakdown : Text, Body, Space

Biomechanics (BM) - antirealistic system of dramatic production developed in the Soviet Union in the early 1920s by the avant-garde director Vsevolod Meyerhold. Meyerhold drew on the traditions of the commedia dell'arte and kabuki and on the writings of Edward Gordon Craig for his system, in which the actor's own personality was eliminated and he was entirely subordinated to the director's will. Coached as gymnasts and acrobats and emphasizing pantomime rather than words, the actors threw themselves about in puppetlike attitudes at the director's discretion. For these productions the stage was exposed to the back wall and was then furnished with harshly lit, bare sets consisting of scaffoldings, ladders, and ramps that the actors used. Biomechanics had lost its appeal by the late 1920s, though Meyerhold's emphasis on external action did become an element in Soviet actor-training techniques. Britannica

body language : the term used to describe the use of the body to communicate information, either consciously or unconsciously.


centre of mass or centre of gravity : the point on which the force due to gravitational attraction appears to act.

*Choices -- Actor's creative choices of action (Stanislavsky)

*Chronotope -- time-space unity.

chronotope: the meeting place of these voices - ‘the place where the knots of narrative are tied and untied.’

Cold reading: a reading aloud from a script or other text without any rehearsal, usually in the context of an audition or workshop.

concentration : the ability to focus on relevant cues at the right time and to maintain this relevant focus for the duration of an event.

confidence : the realistic belief that you have the ability to achieve your goals.

conservation of momentum : if no resultant forces or torques act on an object, both linear and angular momentum of the object remain constant.

constructionist view of bodies : a view that the body is both biological and social.

constructivism : an approach to learning skills that proposes that learning is an active, development, and multi-dimensional process.


*Conflict -- discovered thesis and antithesis of the motion.

*Context -- The environment in which we perceive and evaluate specitic perceltual phenomena. Every single aesthetic element operates within, and is dependent upon, the context of all others.

Contextualism -- a branch of philosophy that includes, rather than excludes, the enviroment (context) in the analysis of art. It is in opposition to the isolationist aesthetics, which proposes that it is only the work of art that matters and not its context. The contextualistic concepts most important for applied media aesthetics are its strong connection between art and life, art as clarified and intensified experience, and the essential dualism of order and experience complexity. Dialogism (Bakhtin) takes it one more step further: the meaning is shaped only at the meeting of the work and the the receipient. Book is changed every time it is read. Live theatre is the most extreme case of dialogism.

Cover: to make up dialogue and or blocking due to a mistake or accident onstage without breaking character.

Curtain call, Walkdown: at the end of a performance, when the actors come to the front of the stage to bow while the audience claps


dialogism: the constant, endless state of intentional and value-laden dialogue into which every word enters.

Inertia -- The tendency of a body at rest to remain at rest and of a body in motion to remain in motion. The greater the mass of an event, the greater its inertia.

Harmony -- A number or chords. Vertical sound vectors.

human kinetics / kinaesiology : focuses on the mechanics of muscle actions, the movement of limbs and the forces acting on the body in motion.


Gelstalt -- A complete configuration that we perceive through psychological close. The perceived pattern is generally different from and often more complete than the sum of its parts. In a gestalt, all elements operate in relation to the whole.

Emotional Literacy -- Education of the senses. An ability to articulate emotional states and communicate them to others.

*Emotional Memory -- (Stanislavsky), also, Emotional Recall

-- Mass -- All the matter an event contains.

feedback : the information we receive from a variety of senses on the outcome of our movements.

forces : causes of changes in the velocity of objects. Forces are measured in Newtons, and have both magnitude and direction.


*Focal Point -- The major point of interest in a scene.

*Focus -- 1. Directing audience attention to the focal point, 2. The Actor's visual point of reference, 3. Controlling the intense spot of light.


-- Story Time -- Subjective duration, different from the Plot Time.

Counterpoint -- A specific polyphonic technique in which the various voices (horizontal vectors) encounter each other. In media aesthetics, the musical counterpoint of note against note is extended into vector against vector.

*Cycles -- 4 Steps of micro-movement.

*Director -- Designer of the Chronotope of the Spectacle.

Dialectic -- The juxtaposition of opposining or contradictory statements or events in order to resolve the conflict into universally true axioms or and event synthesis (new event or idea).

Direction -- thought-feeling "line" of the stage experience.

Directing -- establishing the directions for audience.

Distanciation: in Brechtian performance, when actors maintain distance from their character by reminding the audience through often stylized gestures or behavior that they are simply people pretending, instead of trying to identify with their "character".

Diverging Vectors -- Vectors that point or move into opposite directions.

Dramatic Agent -- Any object or action that contributes directly to the event's intensification.

Duration -- Refers to how long we perceive an event.

*Event -- An actual happing : Stage Event v. Dramatic Event

* Depth of the Event -- the time dimenssion of the event.

* Mass and Inertia of the Event

* Constructing Stage Event

* Editing Stage Event

* Event Density -- The relative number of event details that occur within event complexity

* Event Energy and Intensity -- The relative energy and relative significance we perceive about a specific event.

Experience Intensity -- The number of relevant expreriences to wghich we are subjected simultaneously of in rapid succession, and their relative depths.

External -- Forces with a direction and magnititude operating outside us. Event vectors.

Exeunt *: a stage direction for more than one to person exit, from the Latin exire, "to go out"

Exeunt omnes *: a stage direction meaning all the cast exit

Exit: a stage direction which specifies which person goes off stage


Gesture -- The performer's expressive movement (head, shoulders, arms, hands) to communicate emotion or attitude.

Given Circumstances -- Dramatic events affecting the character (Stanislavsky).

goal setting : the process of setting targets to focus on in seeking to improve performance. Goals may be short or long term.


Field -- an established level of the event (in time and space).

impulse : force multiplied by the time for which it is applied to an object.

integration : this refers to linking learning in, about and through physical activities.


Intention: a single, temporary desire or goal that arises in a character within a scene. (Also called "Objective".)

InterActing -- acting (AA).

Induced Motion Vector -- A vector created by emotion/speach within a static scene.

Golden Section -- A classic proportional system in which the smaller section is to the greater as the greater is to the whole. Balance and Stop.


kinaesthetic sense : being attuned with what effective body movement 'feels' like; loosely described as 'muscle memory'.

kinematics : a collective term for descriptors of motion

linear momentum : the object's mass multiplied by its linear velocity. Linear motion -- Movement in a straight line.

manual dexterity : relates to the technical competence and efficiency of movement.

mass : the amount of matter in an object, measured in kilograms.

mental imagery : the process of mentally practicing physical skills.

Method acting: acting style in which the ideal of a "true"( or "real") moment or impulse is valued most highly; the actors try to feel the emotions of the character so that the actors' choices and the characters' would be as one---i.e. inevitable. Pioneered by Konstantin Stanislavski, currently taught most formally at The Actor's Studio in Manhattan. Of note, most American Method acting was based on an early, incomplete experiment of Stanislavski's; many if not most modern teachers have moved away from the original (Stanislavskian ) "method" as it is truly difficult to teach well, has been altered by many secondary and tertiary disciples in the 60's and 70's to suit personal agendas, and can produce seemingly uninteresting and almost "masturbatory" results in younger actors. Marlon Brando perhaps the best example of a masterful methodist who uses and discards various parts of many school of thought to acieve success.

Meyerhold -- Russian Director, Father of Biomechanics.

Method -- American version of the Stanislavsky' System.

Motivation -- Reasons for speach or action. + Motivation: a character's individual desires or goals which propel them into action; the driving force of an inciting event that starts a story's progression. + motivation : the degree of interest a person has in participation and performance.

Newton's law of inertia : the fact that the velocity of an object remains constant unless a force acts on it.


Levels -- 1. Platforms or steps. 2. The actor's vertical relationship to the stage (lying, sitting on the floor, chair, etc.) Also, in voice (high, low -- I ask for a minimum of three).

Objective -- established task of the character. + Objective: a single, temporary desire or goal that arises in a character within a scene. (Also called "Intention" or "Task")

Obstacle -- no objective can't be established without defining obstacle(s). + Obstacle: a force opposing a character's "Objective" (or "Intention") which gives rise to dramatic tension and conflict.

overtraining : unintentional overloading of the body through excessive training.


Pace -- Refers to the perceived speed of an event. although pace belongs to subjective time, it is a quasi-quantitave measure. Pace is not a vertical but rather a horizontal time vector.

Part: a character; the portion of the script intended for one character

Performance -- see THR dictionary (Actor's Text).

periodisation : organising training into blocks, with different blocks varying in frequency, intensity and duration of training.

physical competencies : the skills and techniques one can perform.

physical literacy : the vocabulary of physical competencies.


Polyphony -- multivocal

Pre-Acting: establishing the acting space-time before any spoken line.

Preferred reading: the interpretation of the script that is stressed by the author or the text itself.

Prop, Property: an object used in the play, from the Middle English proppe, meaning a support, not originally related to property as in ownership; does not include scenery or costumes.

Protagonist: the main character; the hero or heroine.


ReAction -- 3rd part of the BM cycle ("Otkaz")

reciprocal learning : this approach involves peer teaching by which students work together and provide each other with feedback.

reflective performer : one who thinks and does at the same time.

relaxation skills : various techniques used by athletes to lower their arousal or anxiety.

representation : a process of displaying the body that encourages people to make associations between the body and particular social values.


"Scene" (A few segments of Action) -- A clearly identifiable, organic part of an event. It is a small structural (action) or thematic (story) unit, usually called "French Scene"

Sense memory: in Method acting, when an actor attempts to recall memories of the physical sensations surrounding prior emotions in order to utilize emotional memory.

Signs of character: the various cues that convey a character's personality, emotion or motivation

Signs of performance: an actor's movements, expressions and vocal tones and patterns that contribute to signs of character.

scientific measurement : a specific approach to physical activity based on physiology, biomechanics and skill learning.

self-esteem : the feeling of self-worth that a person possesses.

skill development : in traditional approaches, skill development typically takes the form of drills and practice focusing on a particular skill.

specificity : a principle of training that emphasises that movements should be identical to those involved in the actual athletic activity.

"Social actor": people who portray themselves in a performance, usually previously known to the audience

Stage direction: in the script of a play, any instruction for the actors, or setting or character description

Space: 3D of the matter.

"Stop" -- 4th step in BM Cycle.

System -- Stanislavsky Acting Theory.

Subjective Time -- The duration we feel; also called psychological time. A qualitative measure.

Subjective Space -- transformed "place" by the actor and percived by the spectator as such.

target group : a group to whom a message is directed.

task goals : goals that relate specifically to the task at hand.

Time: evolution of matter in space, when all three become PLACE.

Timing -- The control of objective and subjective time.

Text -- everything with signs (see Semiotics)

Vectors: directional motions with within axises.

* Motion Vector -- A vector created by an object moving in a specific direction.

* Index Vector -- A vector created by something that points unquestionably in a specific direction.

* Internal Vectors -- Forces with a direction and magnitude operating within us, such as feelings, empathic responses, and etc. See Inner Gesture.

* Coverging Vectors -- Vector that point or move toward each other. Conflict and energy of the event.

* Natural Dividing Lines -- Graphic vectors that occur at prominent points of a body, such as the eye level, the knees and so forth.

Typecast: when an actor becomes associated with only one type of role or character, often based on physical appearance.

visualisation : mental imagery that emphasises the visual component of imagery.

work : the force applied to an object multiplied by the displacement through which the object is moved by the force.

Verisimilitude: the trait of seeming truthful or appearing to be real, from the Latin veri similis, "like the truth"...

Stanislavsky, Constantin, 1863–1938, Russian theatrical director, teacher, and actor, whose original name was Constantin Sergeyevich Alekseyev. He was cofounder with Vladimir Nemirovich-Danchenko of the Moscow Art Theater in 1898, which he would remain associated with for remainder of life. He also achieved renown as a director of opera. As a director, he stressed ensemble acting as well as complete coordination of all phases of production. His outstanding productions included many of the plays of Chekhov, in which he tried to strip away rhetorical clichés to enter the emotional core and complex psychology of the characters. Stanislavsky stressed the importance of the actor's inner identification with the character and the actor's natural use of body and voice. His training, now termed the Stanislavsky method, or “method” acting, had a vast influence on modern schools of acting. In New York City the Actors' Studio adapted many of his ideas to their use.

See Stanislavsky's "An Actor Prepares" (tr. 1936), "Building a Character" (tr. 1950), and "Creating a Role" (tr. 1961); his autobiographical "My Life in Art" (tr. 1924); biography by E. Polyakova (1982); studies by C. Edwards, The Stanislavsky Heritage (1965), S. Moore, "The Stanislavksy System" (1974), and N. Gorchakov, "Stanislavsky Directs" (1968, repr. 1974).

Method Britannica: Inner work of the dramatic actor.

Zero Time -- A high-magnitude subjective time vector that occupies a spot on the objective time continuum.

[ not complete list ]

Directions & Addresses

Vectors -- In media aesthetics, a perceivable force with a direction and magnitute. In mathematics, a physical quantity with both a magnitude and direction.
Vector Field -- A combination of various vectors operating within a signle field.
Vector Line -- An imaginary line created by extending converging index vectors or a motion vector.
Vector Magnitude -- The degree of the directional force of the vector; the amount of energy we perceive. A high-magnitude vector is a strong vector; a low-magnitude vector is a weak one.

Axises: main directions of action.
Z-Axis -- main axis.

Distances & Durations: organization of the time segmentation.

Next: Film Dictionary
@2000-2004 index *
Suspension of disbelief is a willingness of a reader or viewer to suspend their critical faculties in order to "go along for the ride." The phrase was coined by Samuel Taylor Coleridge in his Biographia Literaria (pub. 1817), but the concept was certainly recognised by Shakespeare, who refers to it in the Prologue to Henry V: "make imaginary puissance...'tis your thoughts that now must deck our kings...turning th'accomplishment of many years into an hourglass...." The audience accepts limitations in the story being presented, sacrificing realism (and occasionally logic and believability) for the sake of enjoyment.
Suspension of disbelief is an essential component in live theatre.
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Get Site Info The fourth wall is the imaginary invisible plane at the front of the stage in a theater through which the viewer is thought to look. One also speaks of a fourth wall in fictional realms, in literature, movies, television, radio, comic books, and other forms of entertainment.
The term signifies the suspension of disbelief used by the audience, who are looking in on the action through the invisible wall. The audience thus pretends that the characters in the story are real "living" beings in their own world, and not merely actors performing on a stage or studio set, or written words on the pages of a book. In order for the fourth wall to remain intact, the actors must also, in effect, pretend that the audience does not exist, by staying in character at all times and by not addressing the audience members directly. Most such productions rely on the fourth wall.
The literary technique called breaking the fourth wall is used when the plot of a story calls for some event to take place that shatters the barrier between the fictional world of the story, and the "real world" of the audience watching the story. [ ]

(c)anatoly : &

Drama is a prose or verse composition telling a story which shows life or character through conflict and emotions. It is usually performed by actors and actresses in a theatrical setting.

Medical: Biomechanics deals with all aspects of biological systems. Life expresses itself in movement, mechanics describes movement - this lies behind the term biomechanics. Movement occurs only when forces are acting. These can often not be recognized let alone appraised by the naked eye. The magnitude and direction of forces acting on the body contain valuable information for orthopedists, coaches, shoe manufacturers, ergonomists, neurologists, car makers and many other specialists in the broad interdisciplinary field of Biomechanics.

Forces occurring between foot and ground when standing, walking, running, jumping and sliding can be accurately recorded with one or more force plates. The BioWare software developed by Kistler processes the signals recorded by the force plates and, depending on the application, provides a series of informative parameters such as:

3 force components
Resultant force
Direction of force
Center of pressure/(COP)
Coefficient of friction
Power and energy

These parameters can be recorded statically and dynamically in real time. Even the fastest events in biomechanics can be captured reliably

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Theater (AE) or Theatre (BE and widespread usage among theatre professionals in the US) is that branch of the performing arts concerned with acting out stories in front of an audience using combinations of speech, gesture, music, dance, sound and spectacle - indeed any one or more elements of the other performing arts. In addition to the standard narrative dialog style, theatre takes such forms as opera, ballet, mime, kabuki, chinese opera, and pantomime. [ wikipedia ]

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