Coordinated Theatre Practice: Applying the Alexander Technique to the Creative Demands of Stage Performance
‘As long as you have this physical tenseness you cannot even think about delicate shadings of feeling or the spiritual life of your part. Consequently, before you attempt to create anything it is necessary for you to get your muscles in proper condition so that they do not impede your actions.’ Constantine Stanislavsky, An Actor Prepares
Experience what it's like for your whole organism to be expansively creative.
Coordinated Theatre Practice is a seven week course that aims for participants to experience and develop, in a safe and conscious environment, an alternative and constructive approach to the often demanding creative process of staging a performance. The course will use as its vehicle the Principles of the Alexander Technique and excerpts of plays by well-known authors, culminating in a performance of a chosen work at the conclusion of the course.
By the end of the course participants will have at their disposal a toolkit for them to become more aware and coordinated to meet the stage demands. In this way, the actor or 'interpreter' is able to establish a foundation to work creatively in a more efficient and reliable way for their benefit and the enjoyment of the audience.
FM Alexander was an actor that sorted out his vocal problems by developing the Principles that constitutes what we now know as The Alexander Technique.
Some principles of the Technique that can be useful for performing artists:
The Principle of Unity invites us to think that there’s no such a thing as the body and the mind, 'Nature does not work in parts; she treats everything as a whole' FM Alexander;
‘Direction’ is an illustration of continuous integration of layers applied to any experience - what is called 'a Unified Field of Attention' in the Alexander realm;
‘Use affect Functioning’ requests proper use of the body otherwise it becomes prone to injury;
‘Erroneous Preconceived Ideas’ explains itself. Incorrect notions are embodied in habitual and unconscious patterns of tension and collapse.
Seven Lessons in Coordinated Theatre Practice
As a group member, Leo will invite you to pay attention to the constant activity that takes place in your organism. Each session will be structured, starting with a multi-sensory warm-up of the performer's 'instrument', followed by the introduction of simple and dynamic activities to reduce body tension and improve your creativity, alignment, balance, breathing and voice. Together the group will aim for awareness in the process of creating three-dimensional characters and also in the phenomenon of showing stories to an audience. The incorporation of play preparation and enactment during the series is designed to stimulate a constant flow of rhythmic impulses within the performers' organism for examination and experimentation which moves toward pyscho-physical freedom rather than our habitual contraction in the face of executing activities. In between sessions group members can further experiment with the learnings in their responses to the stimuli of daily life.
Alexander Technique: Imagine a toolkit full of gadgets ready to be used anytime
The Alexander Technique is an educational method that generates and refines awareness in the dynamic functioning of the body. The Technique was developed by the 20th century Australian actor and orator, F M Alexander, and is currently taught in Performing Arts institutions around the globe including: The Juilliard School of Performing Arts in New York, The Royal College of Music in London, The Boston Conservatory of Music, The Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto and University of Melbourne (VCA), and has been used by actors and performers including Hugh Jackman, Lupita Nyong’o, Sir Paul McCartney and the late Alan Rickman. The hallmark of this 're-education in activity’ experience, is improved freedom and efficiency of movement - mentally, physically, spiritually. This is particularly important for the full expression of the actor’s craft and connection with the audience. The Technique teaches conscious awareness of use and functioning of the entire organism by preventing unnecessary muscular effort and tension and also by allowing the expansion and lengthening of the total muscular system..
Leonardo Canales Biography
Leonardo is a graduate of the School for F M Alexander Studies. His background in theatre brought him to the Alexander Technique in 2014 from Chile. Leonardo has extensive experience working with a large number of people across many art forms in finding ease of motion. Leonardo trained in Theatre Acting at the University of Chile and subsequently studied Vocal Performance and Choreographic Theatre with PanTheatre School in Paris and Contemporary Dance in the Laban Centre in London. His lessons incorporate dynamic elements from theatre and the scientific point of view of the Technique.
Leonardo’s theatre career spans numerous productions in various places around the globe. He performed across South America and Europe in Der Deutsche Mittagstisch (German Supper). He was a vocal performer in the choreographic theatre piece, Tropiezos, directed by Enrique Pardo (PanTheatre). He also directed Lo que es posible hacer con Alguien (What is possible to do with Somebody), that started as a residency with Kim Theatre in Berlin, Germany. In Australia he has performed in Jugar con Fuego (Playing with Fire), a theatre production of The Spanish Theatre Company, Melbourne. Currently Leo teaches Voice and Alexander Technique at Brave Studios, and, Film & TV International.
School for F M Alexander Studies
330 St Georges Rd, Fitzroy North.
WHEN: Friday 11am to 1pm
DATES: Fridays from 19 October to 30 November
(+ Show night ‘to be confirmed’)
PAYMENT: $250. Concession $200
‘With the best intentions, the job of acting can become a display of accumulated bad habits, trapped instincts and blocked energies. Working with the Alexander Technique to untangle the wires has given me sightings of another way. Mind and body, work and life together. Real imaginative freedom.’
Alan Rickman, Actor