Module One: Singing and Organic Behavior
Jan 12, 13, 14, (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday) 10:00AM – 2:00PM
As actors, since Stanislavsky, we can understand behavior as a complex phenomenon based on the dynamic relationship we have with the world around us. This relationship exists through actions, reactions, contacts, intentions, associations and modifications of the living organism. From the outside one can read this manifestation as something that carries a meaning. A practical understanding of the complex and yet simple nature of intentional action can be seen as the core of the actor’s practice. How does one approach it and access it organically? How to let this stream of behavior develop, grow and extend? The objective of this module will be to utilize the tools of the actor’s craft to search for organic behavior and for the connection of voice and action.
Under the guidance of Mario Biagini, participants will work on traditional songs from the Southern United States, which form a central part of the work material and research of the Open Program of the Workcenter. This work on song is an exploration of the impact that the rhythmical, melodic and vibrational qualities have on the persons singing and on the observers. Furthermore these singing sessions will investigate the potential for interaction within the structure of the song and throughout the work sessions, including ancient modes of basic movement and dance with precise steps.
Participants in this module are requested to come with a prepared song of their choice, through which they wish to discover the possibility of embodied singing in a living flow of action. Please bring a few sets of clothes that you love to wear, elegant perhaps but not necessarily formal, that allow the possibility of movement. Women are suggested to bring a couple of long skirts/dresses for song sessions. Please no yoga or exercise clothes.
Module Two: Physical Training
Jan 15, 16, 17, (Thursday, Friday, Saturday) 10:00AM – 2:00PM
In this part of the workshop, we will explore physical training as practiced at the Workcenter: sessions of structured games, improvisations, dances and exercises developed at the Workcenter over many years. The Workcenter physical training employs dynamic sequences of improvisation and structured games in the space, following the tempo-rhythm of a leader. This training will give each participant the opportunity to find and to follow a living flow of associations, intentions, and contacts. These sessions will offer the possibility to delve deeply into an unknown field: associative flow and its richness, and to explore the resonance and dynamics of one’s perceptions, which are not necessarily linked to a narrative or interpretative perspective. The participants will have the occasion to see how such exploration is crucial for an actor, as inner resources that can enrich and make complex her or his creative process.
Participants in this Module will also learn a rigorously structured series of stretches done in total synchronization, which is called Motions. This is a very precise exercise developed over many years at the Workcenter to work on the circulation of one’s attention: to work to sense and respond to what is happening all around you in every micro-second of the exercise and at the same time be fully present to your own body.
Throughout these sessions, all who participate will be encouraged to create their own forms of creative training and further exercises will be developed given the specific and individual needs of each person. Please bring with you a black speedo-style bathing suit, a towel, and a warm change of clothes for use in these sessions and afterward.
Module Three: Intentional Action – Spontaneity and Structure
Jan 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, Monday – Saturday afternoons, 3:00PM – 6:00PM
When we work as actors, we work in the field of our intentions, associations, and memories, and we must seek a precise line and logic of physical actions that we can repeat and rehearse. But how can we be truly alive and awake each new moment that we enter our work? From the outside an observer can read our behavior as meaningful. How can we structure and edit our creative material without losing its spontaneity, its life, while also creating a logic for the spectator? In this Module, Mario Biagini will help participants to research these questions through an investigation into the nature of intentional action. Participants in this module will work on individual actions of their own creation, starting with a simple “acting proposition”– a short individual scene based on a song and/or a text of their choice, prepared before their arrival to the workshop. Each “acting proposition” should be repeatable, with a beginning, a development and an end, like a miniature performance. Participants should choose the song and/or the text themselves, but also be sure to include some moments of silent action. During the workshop, according to what appears as the creative possibilities, either the initial acting propositions will be developed, or other creative works will be discovered and proposed. Throughout the course, these evolving creations will be developed under Biagini’s guidance and analysis, taking into account the specific gifts, needs, and wishes of each person.