"Meyerhold's aesthetic strategy -- which was later adapted and popularized by Bertolt Brecht -- was predicated upon foregrounding the means of representation in order to maintain a critical distance between the spectator and performance. This strategy forces the spectator into an active role--the audience members become practicing semioticians who must analyze the encoded performance (Aston and Savona, 92). This is a radical shift away from the iconistic quality of naturalistic theatre. Theatre is no longer a mirror in which the audience sees an illusionistic representation of itself. Rather, the performance becomes an event that is startling, challenging and alienating. The actor is a technician whose craft is one of precision and competence in execution. The audience is forced to critically analyze the performance and to glean meaning from a variety of sign systems--both iconic and schematic." THE SEMIOTICS OF ACTING: FROM HIEROGLYPHS TO IDEOGRAMS by Edward Isser
GeoAlaska: Theatre & Film
Spring 2003: Don Juan
ShowCases: 3 Sisters, Mikado, 12th Night, Hamlet, The Importance of Being Earnest, Dangerous Liaisons, Don Juan
The problem I face is the book System of the Method and the decisions about what belongs there, to Stanislavsky.
I am in the middle. I use both. I do not subscribe to Method or Biomechanics in full -- and my own criteria when and how to use one or another is based on the needs of Spectator.
Now, how does actor create TIME and SPACE?
You use THEIR (public) time!
You use THEIR (audience) space!
This is your material. They bring two-three hours of their real time with them to the theatre. Count it -- 3 X 300 = 900 hours to play with!
Three hundred (an example) of them in the house create the DRAMATIC space, which we usually call "stage" (Empty Space). Think of yourself in a scene at the top of this building with many levels under you, think of the iceberg! They, the public, is the "invisible" part of it (under the waters of darkness). Look at the Greek theatres; do you see how the energy of many is focused in one small place for ACTION.
You are welcome to be a part of this process of "writing" my book. I practice what I preach; you, the readers, are co-creators. Or should I say -- the main authors? All I do is trying to answer your questions, my questions, our questions...
Actor, you are SPECTATOR, never forget it!
Summary... the Viewpoints method begins with actions and gestures, and uses them to generate the emotions that are at the heart of effective acting.
QuestionsRudolph Laban's system of analyzing movement has been used extensively in training performers. This program explains that his system analyzes movement according to three categories (direction, time and weight), which yield eight possible combinations that can define a movement. It shows acting students learning how to use Laban's eight effort actions to add variety and clarity to their physical work. [1997, 31 mins.]
One Act Fest
Notes(New) four parts: Performance, Chronotope, Showcases, Theory -- to structure the pages in this directory. At another BM directory @ biomechanics.vtheatre.net (class) I use different breakdown (pre-text, text, post-text), which is even more confusing. "Pre-text" -- dramatic, words. "Post-text" -- spectator's text (dramatic experience). But what I can do? I have to keep term "text" for actual actors' performance.
2004 & After
Way of Acting the Theatre Writings of Tadashi Suzuki
Suzuki has articulated his theories in a number of books. A collection of his writings in English, "The Way of Acting" is published by the Theatre Communications Group of the U.S.A..
ET: Hello, I am ET, I am here to perform a monologue from...
MASTER: Speak up, I can't hear you!
ET: I can hear you, sir.
MASTER: Becuase I use my stage voice and you -- your habitual voice. Speak!
ET: Stage voice? I do speak, sir...
MASTER: You speak as if I am next to you. Do you see the distance between you and me? Did you ever speak to somebody who is 50 feet away, but it must sound as if he is a foot away? Who is here to cover this distance between me and the stage? I try, I try to listen, I am already travel halfway. Who is working here, you or me? You are under thge light? Don't you see how the space around you is pre-arranged? For you, to help you, to help me to hear you! Do you see how the "time" is organized? How different your time from my time? Do you understand what I am saying?
MASTER: Do you understand what will happened when it will not one, but hundrends here? Do you understand the intensity of time on stage, your time, when the thousands eyes will be on you? Do you understand what does it do to space around you? Did you hear about dramatic space and subjective time?
ET: No, sir.
ANATOLY (appears DSL). Yes, I am here.
MASTER: Did you teach them the stage event theory?
ANATOLY: I talked about the Actor's Text and the Chronotope in my fundamentals of acting...
MASTER: I am asking about the construction of "stage events"! What both of you are doing on stage, if you don't know the nature and laws of stage? Be gone! Both of you! All of you!
Oh, boy! You thought that the first part was tough? It's nothing next to what we have to go through in this part! There are so complicated texts in it that I myself do not understandthem! And I am the one who wrote it! Are you sure that you want to read further? Go to the movies, turn on the TV! Dinner? Just a walk? No? Okay. Let do it than!
"... Center of Gravity? To demonstrate it, I ask them in class to define the center of gravity in a child, man, woman and the old man. Why children (especially todlers) are falling so often? The head is the biggest body part in the embryo, the center of gravity is there. The old person has the gravity center on the floor, imagine it -- and this mental image should lead you to dragging your feet, making every move difficult. We do "pregmant woman" exercises: the center of gravity is obvious. Now, how to work around it -- getting up, sitting down. The center of gravity is the point to move first."
Island, UAF, Macro-Action
You see, the sight is the action. At first, the camera on tripod was a passive observer, then came the dolly and the crane. Almost hundred years after the Einstein's theory of relativity (1905), the filmmakers understood that we can take another step and enter the time-space of the character. In Part One we discussed the shots of action, Part Two is about the montage of physical action, the composition of the physical narrative.
"Matrix" (movie) could be seen as a manual for studying of Biomechanics. They took every movement and staged it for the camera, including the camera movement itself (in fact, the blended the two -- primary and secondary motions). The cut (step four in BM) can't be viewed without the previous beat of action and the following shot of action. You organize your movement in a scene, keeping in mind the overall composition. The shot of action is only one sentence, but what is your physical monologue about?
I doubt that without a century of the Russian ballet Meyerhold would understand the need for choreographed movement on dramatic stage.
MASTER. Tell them about music. Ask what kind of time they live in, when listen to music. The time disappeares, it becomes THEIR time, we live only when do not notice the time! This is SUBJECTIVE time. Ask them, where are they in space, when the music takes over you? In order for them to put the audience in this state of mind, they should create this stage music of action! How do they do I don't care!
- Even by using the System?
MASTER. Doesn't matter! Just do it! Let me have it! What do you think I came to your theatre for? Give it to me! Use me! I am good, I am alive, I have imagination, emotions, memories, hopes, dreams! Use it all -- PLAY the music!
The class was over and my students needed to go to thier other classes, but were afraid to interupt the old madman....
* March 2006: Go.dot -- 100 years since Sam Beckett's birth *
projects: BM software
An online course supplement *
2005-2006 Theatre UAF Season: Four Farces + One Funeral & Godot'06
Film-North * Anatoly Antohin * eCitations *