Monday, July 20, 2009

Final week of Physical Theatre Intensive

The intensive wrapped up with a week focusing on clown, which was very fun and interesting because I've seen many clown performances, but had little idea how they came to be. The DAI website describes it as:
Week 4 : THE DRAMATIC REALMS: Clown & Comic Archetypes
Coming full circle from the cleansing work of The Showers, the actor researches an organic, non-traditional personage to find the play of failure. Clown lives not just in eccentric behavior, but also in authentic play in concert with its partners, for the audience. Work in duos, trios.

Our assignment for the week was to partner up and create a scene where you are clown presenting something for the audience, but you flop (fail). My partner and I presented a super-fast version of Rapunzel. Here's a couple somewhat blurry pics from that endeavor (my nose was slipping off for most of it!).

We also continued our work with acrobatics, and I successfully stood on two people's shoulders, which was awesome! I don't have any photo evidence, but you can take my word for it ;) Here's a fun picture of everyone in the workshop:

It was a great workshop with great people, and I learn a ton! I'm so glad I went...

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Week 3 of the Physical Intensive - Comedy and Acrobatics

To start things off, here's a pic from last week's project in the realm of tragedy and set to the Yeats poem:

This week is described on the Dell'Arte International website as:
Week 3: THE DRAMATIC REALMS: The Human Comedy
With a focus on craft--  rhythm, timing, partnership, entrance/exit, dynamics, the mask and more – this week engages the atypical playing of comic types through work on theme and the timeless situations of the human comedy.
We've spent the week with an acrobatics session and 'games' session every morning, and a comedy and mask session every afternoon.  I have to thank Minneapolis' Brave New Institute for superbly preparing me for the 'games' section because it was a bunch of improv!  It was one of the few parts of the workshop so far where I've felt like I know what's going on.  

In addition to all this class work, we also had to present a fictional infomercial today.  This was a super fun project and was ten times easier than the tragedy project last week. Here's the least blurry pic I could get my hands on (we were selling a product called "Gap-B-Gone" which was for those unfortunate gaps that can occur at the beach or with low-rise pants):

And here are a couple videos of me doing my new acrobat tricks (not too fancy, just rolls and a cartwheel, but exciting none the less, having dramatically exited the world of gymnastics at the age of 6, only to re-enter 21 years later!)

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Physical Intensive Workshop so far...

Here I am, already finished with the first two weeks of this four-week Physical Theatre Intensive workshop!  Time is flying by.

Dell'Arte International describes the weeks best on their website:
The essential work of Dell’Arte founder Carlo Mazzone-Clementi, known as “The Showers,”  because “you are never too clean to do them.” Through this set of structured improvisations -- open, non-psychological play in the empty space of the stage, the cleansing of unnecessary habits -- the actor becomes a more powerful presence. The Showers are complimented by  the FM Alexander Technique in vocal/physical work and by movement training with Donlin Foreman.
Week one was all about raising self-awareness for me, and a very good reminder of the hard work it takes to maintain quality work as an actor.  
Week 2: THE DRAMATIC REALMS: Melodrama Through Tragedy
The training proceeds as presence becomes intention; energy becomes action. The actor in the space; explorations in space, time, rhythms, music and visual forms; the poetic dimension of the protagonist or tragic hero(ine), epic and sacrifice. Melodrama teaches us about heightened stakes—“Life, ramped” (actor  Ethan Hawke).
Week two consisted of tragedy and melodrama work.  I was assigned to a group of 5 people, and we developed movement to accompany the tragic poem, The Cold Heaven, by Yeats.  If you're not familiar with the poem, feel free to check out this YouTube video of it.  

Next week is comedy, and the last week is clown.  I'll try to get more photos of the workshop participants, including myself, so keep an eye out!