Acting program Devising- bleeding the genres
This has been the best week yet on the Acting program.
We did a fantastic improvisation inspired by Laban’s 8 efforts and movement.
This technique was originally used in dance performance.
From my ahem “intellectual” reading on post-modern performance. Most contemporary artists prefer to think of the theory part of writing and performance as not prescriptive but fluid and as something to provoke the imagination.
The theories exist to be used to merge into something that is relevant to today.
This program is far away from what I’m learning on my MA and this is my struggle with what I’m doing in my MA because, we as an ensemble – group of amateur actors are working towards devising a performance not based on text.
Back to Laban – the whole purpose of the exercise was to move forward and start thinking more about character development. How many ways can an actor develop their character?
For me, it helped me focus more on my physical body and what I could do with it, to create a character with emotional depth.
This is the exercise we did:
Laban categorized human movement into four component parts:
Each of those parts has two elements:
Direction is either direct or indirect.
Weight is either heavy or light.
Speed is either quick or sustained.
Flow is either bound or free.
Laban then combined these parts together to create The Eight Efforts:
The Direction is Indirect
The Weight is Heavy
The Speed is Sustained
The Flow is Bound
I loved how I explored character development using my voice, my body and employing Laban’s technique to create a character.
I chose the movement to ‘wring’ and what stemmed from that incongruent action was a character called -Prushka who ended up in an improvisation scene with another character (his chosen action Punch) who became my workaholic husband with a temper.
We did a short improv scene in pairs of threes.
Us the couple were arguing about our relationship and where it was headed when the third character (developed from the movement of ‘flick ) interrupted us.
Her drugged up character was stumbling across the streets asking where she was. We ended the scene by my character telling my character’s husband we had grown apart and it was over.
I went to help the drugged up girl get on a bus and get home. Instead of dealing with the confrontation – a stake was thrust into the scene and as a Wring character, I made the decision guided by my body movements to leave the relationship and avoid the angry, punchy husband.
I’m sure there is a much more simplified way to describe all this but I have never been one to simplify anything!
This acting program has got me thinking about finishing my MA somewhere else. Sad but true.
As a group, we seem to be gelling more and getting to know each other.
It looks like we will be devising a piece to perform to a public at the end of March.
Sat on the train, typing this post and I can’t wait to get home.
Weird guy with bouffant hair sitting opposite me and staring at me like I’ve got an abscess growing on my nose. 😂😂.
I’m currently redrafting TMA 3. I’ve strayed into morality play /Faustian territory purely by accident.