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The David Gaines Workshop

Every workshop offers an overview of the fundamental concepts
of the Lecoq pedagogy and an introduction to the process and technique
of performing with masks. 
Physical exercises are followed by work improvisation focused on
dramatic presence, use of space, neutral acting, clarity, focus, and
attention to the "seed" event.

 

Each workshop session lasts up to three hours,
and is comprised of:

(1) Warm-up

(2) Physical Exercises

(3) Improvisational Exercises

 

     Section (1): The students are led through a series of stretching exercises, to loosen and prepare the body for movement.  The concept of "allowing" rather than "forcing" the joints to relax is introduced (the basis of Alexander Technique), pointing out how these terms apply to acting as well.  Paying attention to the body's messages is stressed, laying the groundwork for paying attention to its impulses in the later acting work.

 

     Section (2):  Through a series of whole-body movements, we confront the general problem of co-ordination, and of making the body accurately execute the actor's intention.  The student learns to recognize subtle differences in qualities of movement, and to reproduce them accurately.  Movement Analysis, Clarity of Gesture, Undulations, and Mime Technique are introduced here.

 

     Section (3): The students improvise the simplest of theatrical scenes before the class (a space, an entrance, an encounter, etc.).   Then, along with the teacher, the class/audience examines precisely what they have noticed during the scene - what the audience has registered (including nervousness and artifice).  Through this process, the students approach an understanding of the concept of "Neutral" acting, of behaving "naturally" on stage.  They learn how to notice what is going on around them, and to convey precisely and fully what they intend.  Concepts illustrated in this section include Timing, the End of a Movement, Minimal Acting, Following Impulses, Playing the Scales, Provoking the Other Actor, and Give and Take.

 

One and two day workshops cover an introduction to the Lecoq technique, while longer residencies permit a more in-depth treatment of such advanced techniques as The Neutral Mask, Pantomime Blanche, Larval Mask Work, and Commedia dell' Arte.

Please phone or write soon to reserve dates.  Together we can arrange a workshop to suit your students' needs.



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