International Conference: Laban for Actors and in Acting Program

Hosted by Michael Cacoyannis Foundation

The Makings of the Actor: The Actor-Dancer is an international conference held under the auspices of the Michael Cacoyiannis Foundation, the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, and the Labanarium, organized by Post-doctoral Researcher Dr Kiki Selioni.

Conference Venue: Michael Cacoyannis Foundation and online

In recognition of both the global reach of the actor dancer network and the current pandemic, participants are invited to take part either in person or virtually.  Conference proceedings will be live-streamed; papers, and where appropriate workshops, can be presented remotely.

N.B. ALL TIMES ARE ATHENS (EET) TIME ZONE

                               Friday 8thJanuary 2021

15.30 Welcome and Opening Speech by Dr. Kiki Selioni Artistic Director of the Makings of the Actor

16.00 Dr.OluTaiwo Senior lecturer in Physical theatre, Acting and Movement at the University of Winchester

Teaching demonstration

The Rhythmic Flow of Perceptual Flux

According to Laban, observation of the flux within the flow of bodilyactions is the fundamental factor when we are internally and externallyperceiving, performing and observing movement in temporal space.He sees flux as an elementary aspect of the motion factor of flow, alongwith: action, control and the body (Laban 1971). Flux here is seen as theabstract property of natural continuance associated with movement –describing the nature of how the ‘motional’ content of movement eventsflows. This is similar to Preston-Dunlop’s concept of spatial progression

When we considerthe training and control of flux; in an attempt to define the motion factor of flow with its effort elements ‘free’ and ‘bound’, we have also to takeinto consideration the movement sensation of Fluency (Laban 1971: 80).My proposal is that the experience of fluency is a result of aesthetic values in a percipients perceptualflux, which has beeninterculturally encoded, embodied and trans-culturallyperformed. The framework of the Return Beat is essentially about how we situate our physical journalswithin the interlocking intervals of a rhythmicevent;how ourembodied experience of fluency, interfaces with the flux of temporalspace, how the liminal distinction between our embodied experiences of in-there-ness and out-there-ness stimulates creativity.

Olu Taiwo is a senior lecturer in Physical theatre, Acting and Movement at the University of Winchester. He has a background in Fine art, Street performance art, African percussion and various martial arts. He has performed nationally and internationally in performances and lecture demonstrations promoting concepts surrounding practice as research, including how practice explores relationships between ‘effort’, and ‘performative actions’. He investigates performatively how as ‘individuals’ we interface with the increasing digital complexity with regards to our experience in twenty-first century society. He is Director of Transcultural studied as part of an institute called the Making of the Actor based in Athens.

His publications range from, The Return Beat in Wood (Ed.): The Virtual Embodied. Routledge. Music, Art and Movement among the Yoruba: in Harvey (Ed.): Indigenous Religions Cassell (2000), to Art as Eudaimonia: Embodied identities and the Return beat in Susan Broadhurst and Josephine Machon (ed.), Identity, performance and technology: practices of empowerment, embodiment and technicity. Palgrave Macmillan (2012)

18.00-20.00 Dr. Kiki Selioni Laban –Aristotle Theory and Practice workshop Part1

The 2hours workshops will present the theoretical basis of this research on Aristotle Poetics and as well as it will work on the principles of the methodology that concerns the actors’ kinesthesia. Moreover, the workshop will construct samples of monologues, fight scenes, devised theatre and musical theatre.

Dr Kiki Selioni is a movement teacher and acting coach in various Drama Schools and Institutions internationally. She has completed her studies in Dance Theatre at the Laban in London (BA and MA, City University. She holds a doctorate in Movement Training for Actors and in Acting (Royal Central School of Speech and Drama). She is currently Affiliate Research Fellow at Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in a post-doc research project (The British Acting School: Biophysical Acting) regarding a complete acting method based on Laban’s work and Aristotle’s theory. She is the founder and artistic director of The Makings of the Actor.

Panel discussion: Professor Sergei Tcherkasski, Juliet Chambers-Coe, Katia Savrami

Sergei Tcherkasski is Professor of Acting and Directing, Head of Acting Studio at the Russian State Institute of Performing Arts (St. Petersburg State Theatre Arts Academy, est. 1779).(Co presenter  Kondrashova Galina Mikhailovna). He is a director, teacher and theatre researcher and holds Ph.D. and D.Sc. (Theatre Arts). He was formerly Artistic Director of the Pushkin Drama Theatre in Krasnoyarsk and was teaching and directed productions all over the world, including the Komisarjevsky Drama Theatre, Liteinii Theatre (St. Petersburg) and RADA (London), NIDA (Sydney), National Theatre (Bucharest). His books include Stanislavsky and Yoga (Routledge, 2016, also in three other languages); Sulimov’s School of Directing (2013); and multi-awarded Acting: Stanislavsky – Boleslavsky – Strasberg (National Prize for Best Theatre Book’2016, International Stanislavsky Award’2017). He is also an Editor of Stanislavski Studies: Practice, Legacy Golden Mask and Contemporary Theatre journal (Routledge, UK) and Jury Member of Golden Mask Award’2019 (a Russian equivalent of Tony or Olivier). E-mail: sergei@ST1676.spb.edu.

Katia Savrami, Choreologist, holds an MA and PhD from the Laban Centre, City University London. She is Associate Professor at the Department of Theatre Studies, University of Patras, Greece. Her publications include books in Greek and in English with recent titles Ancient Dramatic Chorus through the Eyes of a Modern Choreographer in 2016 and Tracing the Landscape of Dance in Greece in 2019, by Cambridge scholars and articles including: Does dance matter? The relevance of dance technique in professional actor training. Published by Research in Dance Education, vol. 17, no. 2, 2016, Web. 14 July 2016.

 (http://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/8IMbxwnDIeRP8mWHJibg/full)  and A duet between science and art: neural correlates of dance improvisation Research in Dance Education, vol. 18, issue. 3, 2017, Web. 12 September 2017 (https://doi.org/10.1080/14647893.2017.1369509).  Katia worked at the State School of Dance and the professional dance school of National Opera in Athens, Greece and has contributed as a writer and critical reader at the Open University of Greece. She is a member of the International Editorial Board of Research in Dance Education Journal, published by Taylor and Francis Group UK and editor of Choros International Journal, www.chorosjournal.com, supported by the Onassis Foundation. She was a visiting professor at the University of Surrey, UK and Michigan State University, USA.

Juliet Chambers-Coe is a GL-Certified Movement Analyst, Laban;  and a PhD candidate at the Guildford School of Acting at the University of Surrey and movement for actors in training specialist. Juliet is also an actress and before coming to teaching, worked for over a decade in theatre, T.V, film and radio – most recent credits include Ice Queen/Streaming Beauty Virgin Media Christmas ad campaign 2020; Mum, TheMagic of Mums audio book released 2021. Recent publications – Figures: Rudolf Laban chapter in The Routledge Companion to Performance Philosophy 2020.

Since gaining CMA stautus and a Masters Degree in Somatic Studies and Labananalysis from the University of Surrey in 2005, she has applied Laban Movement Analysis (LMA) to actor training both as a Movement Director and as a teacher in HE. Juliet has been teaching in UK Actor Training Conservatoires since 2005. She currently teaches Laban/Bartenieff and movement studies at Drama Studio London and Rose Bruford College.  She is the creator and Director of the Labanarium: a resource and network centre for the movement community www.labanarium.com. She combines LMA with The Discipline of Authentic Movement (Janet Adler and Linda Hartley, Institute for Body Movement Therapy, IBMT) and her current research focuses on the soma-spiritual in movement training for actors and their teachers, specifically the spitirual worldview of Rosicrucianism which influenced Laban in the devlopment of his theory of movement harmony. This aspect of Laban’s work, she perceives, has a significant role to play in the training of artist citizens – actor artists and their teachers who engage in the social, cultural and spiritual development of their world(s) through their art and pedagogic practices. She is Mum to three children and lives in Southend-on-Sea, Essex UK.

20.30 Sinéad O’Connor, PhD, FHEA, Mia DiChiaro, BA, MA

Environmental actors and landscape change– exploring restorative potentials, by joining forces with Laban makers

Although human movement training and methods via Laban’s interdisciplinary framework, have recognised the need “to act”, there is a dearth of knowledge on the affordances this can offer for the “environmental actor” in order to cope and deal with complex and dynamic landscape drivers, pressures, states, impacts and responses to the global environmental crises. There is a need to distinguish kinesic communication techniques and processes that facilitate “‘more-than-representational’ ways of supporting evolutionary and restorative landscape change at an immediate scale.

In this paper, as eco-creative and therapeutic practitioners from dance, horticultural and environmental management backgrounds, we seek clarity from the logic of Laban’s space harmony, and draw out some holistic observations from our cross-disciplinary and mixed-field notebook, as a device. We will focus on personal and embodied exchanges we made at a recent Dublin-based residency with Dance Ireland, where we reflected on our body-led operatives, using play and flow fascination as our circuit to explore how presence actually and potentially could look like for us, as two women attempting to access and navigate the Irish landscape. We hope to enrich critical debate, by mapping our experience in relation to the life educing properties of this body of Laban literature, as part of our emergent co-making of methods that can further mobilize social awareness of stakeholder presence, engagement and agency.

Bios of Co-Presenters

Mia DiChiaro (she/her) is a contemporary dancer and artivist whose ideas circulate around joyful embodiment, climate justice, and participatory art. Originally from New York, she holds an interdisciplinary B.A. in ‘Performance and Arts Activism’ from New York University and after relocating to Ireland, received a First-class Honours M.A. in ‘Contemporary Dance Performance’ from University of Limerick (2019) under the direction of Dr. Jenny Roche. From there, she performed choreography by Liz Roche, Jack Webb, Ursula Robb, Paul White, Dina Abu Hamdan, Theo Clinkard, and her own site-specific work. Her passion for making dance accessible to broader audiences has led to many exciting opportunities across the nonprofit sector and an interest in working with non-professional dancers — experiencing firsthand how dance breaks isolation, sparks creativity, allows us to tell stories, and unites through joy. Currently, she is developing embodied movement research through Dance Ireland’s Emerging Artist HATCH Award with fellow eco-mobilizer Dr. Sinéad O’Connor.

Sinéad is a lecturer (Open University) and independent researcher in environmental management, sustainable trails (including walking practice) and transdisciplinary methodologies. As a facilitator, she has trained as an artist, Sufi-whirler and Kunda-dancer. Her intervention work creates space for communities to re-imagine and re-engage in sustainable decision-making processes. This ranges from visioning and behavioral change dialogue with UNFCCC staff, environmental designers in Schumacher College and professional Commonwealth Students in Kenya and Uganda, through to serving as national development officer in the launch of the Countryside Recreation Council in Ireland – for sustainable use of the Irish trail landscape, amid a legacy of conflicting land access rights and user responsibilities. Presently, she is bringing her experience into a specific body-landscape collective experience, as a gardener and accredited facilitator of social and therapeutic horticulture in a Victorian walled garden. Qualifications and relevant training Environmental Management and Sustainable Development. PhD Sustainable Trail Management: A Transdisciplinary Approach, Dublin Institute of Technology, Ireland , BSc Joint Honours in Biology and Geography, University of Bristol, UK, Arts, Dance and Therapy. Qualified in Foundation Studies (Art and Design) with the Interactive Design Institute, UK (Diploma) and as a Personal and Professional Life coach (Coaching Institute of Ireland). Holds somatic experience as a qualified Yoga practitioner (Crown Yoga Ireland), with certified training as a Whirling Dervish (The Study Society, UK) and Kunda dancer (Maya Fiennes), and Site-Specific Dance Performance (with Stephan Koplowitz). Practices authentic movement with Joan Davis, a dance pioneer, choreographer and therapist in Ireland. As a dance advocate, she has made conference presentations across a range of somatic communities of practice, including the first ever all-island Co-Motion dance conference in Belfast (2020), as well as Dance Ireland residencies on mind-body-landscape trajectories. Her initiation into Laban, came recently, via participation in the Labanarium’ s first ever short course (2019).

21.00 Juliet Chambers-Coe is a GL-Certified Movement Analyst, Laban and a PhD candidate at the Guildford School of Acting at the University of Surrey. Director of Labanarium; Associate Artistic Director The Makings of the Actor.

Paper

Legacies of LMA – difference and sameness in Laban’s use of polarity: agentle provocationfor 2021’s impending precarity.

“the world that I and other dancers are together exploring is inseparable from the world we are together creating.” (Sheets-Johnstone, 2009, p. 32)

            In this short provocation, I would like to discuss Laban’s use of polarity as a tool for differentiation and diversity in creative practice for actors and their teachers.

Laban’s use of paired opposites throughout his entire oeuvre does not suppose that all movement is either ‘this’ or ‘that’ (spatially, dynamically) or that any kind of movement is universally experienced or that the kinesphere somehow represents a white-out of difference.  Instead, it allows for the multitude of differences to be discerned, named and further broadened out i.e. for movement range to be extended and for creative potential to be harnessed. By engaging in the interplay of paired opposites as oscillations between poles in movement work, a third aspect comes into play and further proliferates multiple and uniquely different rhythms of being. Rather than simply revealing each pole as some fixed point, the union of opposites as the flux between poles has a generative power and creates new possibilities – the alchemy of paired opposites in the moving body creates something new. The limitations of paired opposites in Laban’s theories also reflect on-going dualisms in life beyond the movement studio which can be usefully understood and harnessed in creative work for the actor and theatre maker.

Laban’s theories in practice acknowledge an awareness of and sensitivity to difference and individuality as indicative of nature and as constituent parts of a unified whole where harmonious forms are created out of difference.By working within a conscious understanding of the power of limitations and the various, limitless rhythmic combinations produced by them, the artist citizen can bring an embodied awareness of diverse perspectivesto their work and to social issues within their communities. Working in the liminal spaces between differences, the artist citizen holds open the unknown ‘third space’ to allow for new possibilities to develop.

In this provocation, I would like us to consider how Laban’s work may be taken forward into our world where his theories are tested and interrogated anew. Not as some attempt at maintaining authenticity to an imagined pastbut towards developing the work for the demands of now and the future. As we hesitantly tiptoe into a new year, bruised and bewildered by the global events of 2020, we might consider Laban’s framework for embodying flux as a means of self-resourcing. Instead of cancelling-out or negating precarity by fixing ourselves to a position which feels certain, we might allow ourselves to ride the flux and to find comfort in the discomfort and know that the only certainty is change.

Juliet Chambers-Coe is a GL-Certified Movement Analyst, Laban;  and a PhD candidate at the Guildford School of Acting at the University of Surrey and movement for actors in training specialist. Juliet is also an actress and before coming to teaching, worked for over a decade in theatre, T.V, film and radio – most recent credits include Ice Queen/Streaming Beauty Virgin Media Christmas ad campaign 2020; Mum, TheMagic of Mums audio book released 2021. Recent publications – Figures: Rudolf Laban chapter in The Routledge Companion to Performance Philosophy 2020.

Since gaining CMA stautus and a Masters Degree in Somatic Studies and Labananalysis from the University of Surrey in 2005, she has applied Laban Movement Analysis (LMA) to actor training both as a Movement Director and as a teacher in HE. Juliet has been teaching in UK Actor Training Conservatoires since 2005. She currently teaches Laban/Bartenieff and movement studies at Drama Studio London and Rose Bruford College.  She is the creator and Director of the Labanarium: a resource and network centre for the movement community www.labanarium.com. She combines LMA with The Discipline of Authentic Movement (Janet Adler and Linda Hartley, Institute for Body Movement Therapy, IBMT) and her current research focuses on the soma-spiritual in movement training for actors and their teachers, specifically the spitirual worldview of Rosicrucianism which influenced Laban in the devlopment of his theory of movement harmony. This aspect of Laban’s work, she perceives, has a significant role to play in the training of artist citizens – actor artists and their teachers who engage in the social, cultural and spiritual development of their world(s) through their art and pedagogic practices. She is Mum to three children and lives in Southend-on-Sea, Essex UK

                                Saturday 9th January 2021

15.30  Andromachi Salacha, MD, Physical & Rehabilitation Medicine, General Hospital of Elefsis «THRIASIO»,Athens, GREECE

Paper

“Mind’s subjective cognitive and affective experience: an area of inquiry towards overcoming the limitations of scientific objective human Movement & Action studies.”

Almost all well established contemporary scientific disciplines study the body and the brain of living human beings objectively, i.e., reducing them to observable things, objects. That’s what science does: it breaks objects down into their compound parts and elements and discovers their underlying systematic principles using quantitative methods. If we, however, try to study the organisational principles of the mind or movement and actions of an actual living human being, we are immediately faced up with the uncomfortable ambiguity of their cognitive and affective character, subjective and qualitative in nature. The mind or the movement and actions of a human living being cannot be reduced to solid material entities like things, they cannot be experienced from the outside. So, how can we understand and study conscious experience? 

During the last thirty years, while cognitive neuroscientists still speak about “explicit” vs “implicit” and “declarative” vs “non-declarative systems,” there has been quite a lot of scientific progress and evidence from various disciplines in neurosciences, that shed light, as to how we can conceptualise and this subject Freud first introduced to us as consciousness.

This study reflects an attempt to understand and clarify the concepts of  conscious and unconscious processes of the human mind according to contemporary neurosciences’ framework. Some of the questions trying to be answered are: where are the origins of consciousness (affective and cognitive) in the brain, what is the role of conscious experience phylogenetically and onto-genetically, plus about conscious/unconscious classification and processes. Using a rather simplified “translational” language, while at the same time strictly bounded to the concrete language-terminology typical of scientific communication, we might shed some more clarity towards a scientific methodology in the studies of movement & actions subjective processes.

I hold a medical degree from Medical School of Patras University. I am currently working as a Rehabilitation Physician at General Hospital of Elefsis « THRIASIO » in Athens, Greece. As a Rehab physician my interests through these years followed my work at Electrophysiology Studies of Peripheral nerves, pain and spasticity. Currently, after attending the two years course of “European Master in Stroke” at Krems, Austria, I am focused on therapeutic rehab of movement after Nervous System lesions. More precisely, I am interested in the development of a theoretically embedded systematic articulation of approaching methods, procedures and techniques of human organism movement and action, in order to obtain a more effective, scientifically grounded therapeutic movement rehab. So, this paper is part of a project of my own systematic study of neuroscience evidence along with continuous philosophical studies for the last eleven years now. It is a time consuming, hard and ever-evolving process, which apart from the ongoing pleasures and the joy of the new knowledge, has totally reformed the way I perceive and articulate and model my everyday practice in rehab therapeutics.

16.00 Katerina Drakopoulou Physical Theatre Trainer / Performer / Performance Maker, Theater Arts, The American College of Greece

Teaching Demonstrations

“Butoh, Bodies, and Objects.”

In this teaching demonstration, I would like to present aspects of my ongoing research on the Butoh body and its encounter with objects. Drawing upon my extensive training, practice, and research on Butoh dance as well as Physical Theatre, I am keen to unveil the possibilities for a physical dialogue between the animate and the inanimate.

The starting point of this exploration will be the Butoh body, which is the body that engages with the 3 main principles that characterize Butoh dance, namely slow motion, stillness, and small-scale movement(Barbe 2011: 114).

The first part of the workshop will investigate and train the ability of the performers to experience this process of “reduction”, this distilled embodied experience of the “here and now” which activates in turn an open, receptive body. As part of this exploration, performers will encounterhokotai (slow motion walk)(Fraleigh and Nakamura 2006: 107) and will experiment with creating sculptural bodily forms in space through arrested stillness (Barbe 2011: 116) and small-scale gestures (Katsura, 2013). Via this process, the performers will be encouraged to examine the sculptural form experientially and to be attentive to the psychophysical possibilities offered by very detailed physical work, especially when it comes to inhabiting a sculptural form that is not necessarily their own.

The second part of the workshop will place emphasis on the use of objects as potential agents for cultivating an open, receptive body that could essentially be transformed. The notion of “not moving, but being moved” which is central to many Butoh artists, such as Tadashi Endo and Katsura Kan, (Barbe 2011: 118)and corresponds to an alert, receptive psychophysical state, will be examined through a playful exploration of the object’s material properties, such as its flexibility, weight, size, colour, texture, etc. The objects will be explored in such ways as to reveal their kinetic potential to inhabit, restrict, move, displace, and ultimately move us, whilst “making visible” the unexpected beauty of the ordinary.  

The third part of the workshop will focus on improvisational tasks that will be approached through stillness, slowness, and small-scale movement and gesture. The given tasks will determine 3 different functions of the object, inspired by Butoh dance practice, which will in turn inspire movement, sensitivity, and expressivity and effectuate transformation. More specifically, the 3 different tasks are the following:

  1. The object becomes the eyes. I can see and fully experience the world only through the object. It is almost as if all my sensory receptors are located on the object.
  2. The object becomes an extension of the body. Body and object are one, there is no separation (Fukuhara, 2009). A new body emerges.
  3. The object and the body form a moving sculpture in space. My attention is placed on the sculptural forms, the 3-dimensional moving shapes my body and the object continuously create in space.

By subverting the way objects and bodies interact, one becomes more attentive to the
“here and now” of the present moment and perhaps more open, receptive, and responsive to the wider world. As Hijikata put it:

“Butohplays with time; it also plays with perspective.Ifwehumanslearn toseethings fromthe perspective of ananimal, an insect,oreveninanimate objects,the road trodden every day isalive…weshouldvalueeverything.” (HijikataquotedinVialaandMassonSekine1988: 65)

Following her postgraduate studies (MA in Ensemble Physical Theatre, University of Huddersfield; MA in Performance, Goldsmiths College; BA in Drama and Theatre Studies, University of Kent), she worked as a Lecturer at the University of Leeds and at Manchester Metropolitan University. In 2010, she decided to take the leap, return to Athens, and cultivate her practice which is rooted in Physical Theatre and ButohDance. She has performed in productions in Greece, England, Japan, and the United States of America. Since 2016, amongst other personal and collaborative projects, she has developed a solo, long-durational, site-specific performance, entitled22 stops[https://22stops.com/], that concerns the relationship between the Butoh body and the urban/natural landscape, and attempts to reveal the beauty of the ordinary. She currently teaches Movement and Physical Theatre at the American College of Greece.kdrakopoulou@acg.edu / adrakopoulou@yahoo.co.uk

References:

Barbe, F. The Difference Butoh Makes: A Practice-Based Exploration of Butoh in Contemporary Performance and Performer Training. PhD Thesis. University of Kent. Retrieved from: https://www.academia.edu/1972219/The_Difference_Butoh_Makes_A_Practice_Based_Exploration_of_Butoh_in_Contemporary_Performance_and_Performer_Training

Katsura, K. (2013). Workshop with Katsura Kan. Athens: Kinitiras, Organised by K. Drakopoulou.

Fukuhara, T. (2009). Workshop with Tetsuro Fukuhara. Leeds: University of Leeds Butoh Festival, Curated by K. Drakopoulou.

Fraleigh, and Nakamura, T. (2006). HijikataTatsumi and Ohno Kazuo. Performance Practitioners Series. London and New York: Routledge.

Viala,J.andMasson-Sekine,N.(1988).Butoh:ShadesofDarkness. Tokyo:Shufunotomo.

Bibliography:

Barbe, F. The Difference Butoh Makes: A Practice-Based Exploration of Butoh in Contemporary Performance and Performer Training. PhD Thesis. University of Kent. Retrieved from: https://www.academia.edu/1972219/The_Difference_Butoh_Makes_A_Practice_Based_Exploration_of_Butoh_in_Contemporary_Performance_and_Performer_Training

Barba, E.(2010). On Directing and Dramaturgy: Burning the House, New York: Routledge.

Fraleigh, S. (1999). Dancing Into Darkness: Butoh Zen and Japan, Pittsburgh and London: University of Pittsburgh Press and Dance Books.

Fraleigh,andNakamura,T.(2006). HijikataTatsumiandOhnoKazuo. PerformancePractitionersSeries.LondonandNewYork:Routledge.

Katsura, K. (2012). Workshop with Katsura Kan. Athens: Kinitiras, Organised by K. Drakopoulou.

Fukuhara, T. (2009). Workshop with Tetsuro Fukuhara. Leeds: University of Leeds Butoh Festival, Curated by K. Drakopoulou.

Reeve, S. (2011). Nine Ways of Seeing a Body. Devon: Triarchy Press.

Riley,Shannon.(2004). EmbodiedPerceptualPractices:TowardsanEmbrainedandEmbodiedModelofMindforUseinActor Trainingand Rehearsal in TheatreTopics, 14:2September,pp 445-471.

Tufnell, M. and Crickmay, C. (2014). Body, Space, Image. Dance Books Ltd.

Viala, J. and Masson-Sekine, N. (1988). Butoh: Shades of Darkness. Tokyo: Shufunotomo.

Zinder,D.(2002). Body VoiceImagination A Training for the Actor, London: Routledge.

Photos: IouliaLadogianni and Varvara Kechagia.

Photographic documentation of Pandora 2022, a Butoh Performance by Katerina Drakopoulou.

Presented at St George Lycabettus Hotel in the context of Performance Rooms2019, organized by Kappatos Gallery.

18.00-20.00 Dr. Kiki Selioni Laban –Aristotle Theory and Practice workshop Part2

Panel discussion: Professor Sergei Tcherkasski, Juliet Chambers-Coe, Katia Savrami

20.30 Marina Marina Stavrou PhD candidate in Fine Art at the department of Arts and Humanities of the Royal College of Art (UK).

Paper

Spect-actor-ships of Pathos; Dramaturgy and Hand Movement

Spect-actor-ships of Pathos; Dramaturgy and Hand Movement is a project supporting practice-led PhD Fine Art research at the department of Arts and humanities of the Royal College of Art. The project seeks to outline degrees of movement allowed within abstract and disruptive conditions, asking the hands to become the probing tool in staged situations. Can this non-verbal practice offer a glimpse to the psycho- structure of gestures and the inner energies and effort of a mover? How do we initiate hand tactics to reach aspects of the psyche that resist access? It has been admitted that the self is a complex system of relationships and understandings. Hands and our physical body mirror this system and inform us with an almost surgical and archeological accuracy on somatic phraseologies of pathos.

 Marina Stavrou holds a BA degree in English Literature from the department of Philosophy of the National and Kapodistran University of Athens (EL) and an MA in Fine Art from the Utrecht Graduate School of Visual Art and Design (NL). She is currently at practice-led PhD candidate in Fine Art at the department of Arts and Humanities of the Royal College of Art (UK).

21.00    Jennifer Mizenko Professor Emerita University of Mississippi, USA jmizenko@olemiss.edu

Teaching Demonstration

Developmental Movement as connected to Character Posture &Gesture, and Chekhov’s Imaginary Body.

During this teaching demonstration, I be connecting the 6 stages of Developmental Movement to discovering and creating Character Posture & Gesture. Further, we will see how these Developmental Movement choices are supportive of what Michael Chekhov termed “Imaginary Body”.

The students will need a character and monologue that they have worked with previously. As one of Rudolf Laban’s prime pupils, Irmgard Bartenieff came to the United States (US)

with all her knowledge and experience working with the movement master. Addition to being

a dancer, Irmgard was also a physical therapist who spent a great deal of time working with polio patients in the US. In this work, she applied her vast knowledge of Laban’s theories of human movement and connected these with her understanding of physical therapy. As a result, Irmgard developed a set of exercises known as the Basic 6, which are the underlying movements that occur in the development of human movement from infancy to adulthood.

Through this work we have come to understand that there are particular psychological lessons that connect with each of these Developmental stages. During the first stage, Breath, the infant is learning trust. In the second stage of Core/Distal, the infant is learning the difference between an inner world/awareness and an outer world/awareness. In the third stage, Spinal, the infant is learning about individuation and separateness, developing an awareness of self. The fourth stage, Upper/Lower, teaches the infant about setting boundaries and discovering personal power. This stage is also the transition from infancy to toddler. The firth stage, Body Half, is the foundation of decision making, considering, comparing two different points of view. And finally, the culmination of all these stages if Cross Lateral, which is the foundation of higher order thinking skills, analyzation, connecting oppositeconcepts.

Each of these stages creates a different posture or body attitude and tell us something about the person or character who is demonstrating or embodying the posture. For example, an individual embodying Breath Pattern reads as being vulnerable, delicate, or soft. This individual may be too trusting, or lacking trust and being cynical. Another example may be a person or character who is embodying Upper/Lower pattern. This individual may be perceived as being stubborn and difficult, or strong and confident.

During the teaching demonstration, I will guide the students through a developmental movement improvisation. As we go through the improvisation we will stop at the end of each developmental stage and notice any feelings, sensations or thoughts coming up throughembodying that particular Developmental pattern. I will ask the students to speak (sounds and words), draw and write what they are feeling. The movement will be very exaggerated, and at this point, unrealistic.

The next step of the class will be to ask the students to identify a specific character they are working on. The students will be directed to go through a monologue chosen for this character and notice the character’s psychology and/or motivation. From here the students will be asked to reference back to all of the Developmental Patterns previously explored. They will in a way “try on” each Developmental Pattern to see what that particular physicality brings out in the character, and then choose which pattern best reflects the character’s current state of being. It is quite possible that more than one pattern is prevalent in the character. But for this demonstration, they will be asked to focus on just one choice. The student will then move the monologue with this Developmental Pattern inmind.

From here I will instruct the students to create an Imaginary Body, for the character. This is a term coined by Michael Chekhov, where the actor envisions what the character looks like, in all aspects from height and weight, to the shape of the eyes and eyebrows, to the amount of hair on the character’s arm and even what the character is wearing. After imagining this, the actor is asked to step into this body, to try it on and discover how this body moves, feels and expresses itself to the world. The actors will perform their monologues inside of these bodies.

The final step of the teaching demonstration will be to notice what Developmental Patterns are supporting the Imaginary Body. Is it the same pattern chosen previously? Or is it different?

How is the Developmental Pattern supporting or enlivening the Imaginary Body? What are you learning about your character that you didn’t realize previously? What insights into the character did you make? How will you apply this work in the future?

References:

“Body Movement, Coping with the Environment” by Irmgard Bartenieff with Doris Lewis. “Lessons for the Professional Actor” by Michael Chekhov, edited by Deirdre Hurst Du Prey ”On the Technique of Acting” by Michael Chekhov

“To the Actor” by Michael Chekhov, Revised and expanded edition. Foreward by Simon Callow

“Making Connections, Total Body Integration through Bartenieff Fundamentals” by Peggy Hackney

“Laban/Bartenieff Movement Studies; Contemporary Applications” by Colleen Wahl

Go to https://www.jennifermizenko.com/for images.

Jennifer Mizenko is a Professor of Dance at the University of Mississippi. She has a B.A. in Psychology from Kenyon College, and an M.A. in dance from The Ohio State University. Her extended studies include period dance with Wendy Hilton and Richard Powers, plus Tai Chi with Maggie Newman. Jennifer is a teaching member of Alexander Technique International and a certified Laban Movement Analyst from LIMS. Mizenko has presented internationally at Alexander conferences and is recognized by ISMETA as a Registered Movement Educator. She is currently combining her knowledge of The Alexander Technique and Laban Movement developing an exciting new approach for the training of actors, which connects movement and psychology. She is currently the Chair of Alexander Technique International.

                                           Sunday  10th January 2021

15.00 Alexander Khaliuta Actor, director, and teacher at St. Petersburg University, Russia

Paper

The need for Laban

My presentation will include a reflection on Rudolf Laban’s method through my own practice as a teacher, actor, and director. Taking such a wide spectrum to this research, my goal is not to purely examine, for example, the usefulness of the method for the actor’s work, but to try to summarize and look for any potential possibilities of this method for a theatrical field in general. The question of integrating this approach into the actors’ training practice by the Stanislavski System seems interesting to me. I will not be giving answers as much as asking questions. Is it possible to stage a performance using this approach? Can Rudolf Laban’s method be the way of rehearsing? To what extent can we call this method suitable for acting education?

Alexander Khaliuta (Russia, St. Petersburg) is an actor, director, and teacher. He graduated from the Russian State Institute of Performing Arts and received his Master’s degree in Scenic Art in 2020. He has been successfully teaching acting at St. Petersburg State University since 2017. He has organized a number of events at his alma mater, the Vaganova Academy of Russian Ballet, St. Petersburg State University, and the XIII International Cultural Forum.

15.30 Professor Rob Roznowski Head of Acting and Directing in the Department of Theatre, Michigan State University, USA

Teaching Demonstration 

Roadblocks in Acting (published in 2017)

This original, incisive book examines questions relating to the self-imposed barriers – or roadblocks – that actors place on their work. Rob Roznowski demonstrates how roadblocks often limit and constrain actors from accessing the emotional availability required in their unique craft. He then offers a systematic approach for achieving peak performance in order to defeat the self-doubt that can hinder actors. He also offers guidance for educators and directors to compassionately assist actors toward gaining freedom. Incorporating perspectives from psychological consultants, the book co-mingles psychology and acting theory in a unique way, presenting practical strategies for dealing with a range of roadblock issues that actors face daily, including anxiety, intimacy, self-esteem and trust.

Rob Roznowski is an award-winning actor, author, director, educator, and playwright. He is a Professor at Michigan State University where he serves as the head of acting and directing in the Department of Theatre. His publications include books: The Introverted Actor: Practical Approaches, Roadblocks in Acting, Inner Monologue in Acting and Collaboration in Theatre: A Practical Guide for Designers and Directors (all published by Palgrave). He worked as the National Outreach Education Coordinator for Actors’ Equity Association and has appeared extensively throughout the US as an actor and director in New York, Los Angeles, and regionally. 

17.30 Vanio Papadeli Movement Tutor (Rose Bruford College, BA European Theatre Arts); Associate Lecturer “Processes of Performance: Ensemble & Space” (Goldsmiths, BA Drama and Theatre Arts); Module Leader “Writing the Body” (MA/MFA Creative Practice, Trinity Laban of Music and Dance ). E-mail: vanyo_ka@yahoo.gr

Paper

Sensing and making sense of touch within movement pedagogies for theatre and performance1

This paper presentation addresses various implications of working with touch when teaching movement to theatre students and by combining elements from somatic movement, Contact Improvisation, Post-Grotowskian theatre, and dance. Through relevant slides and brief physical activities, I will demonstrate that by providing more space to “sensing” and embodying touch, the “making sense” and “meaning-making” processes can unfold more organically away from cliché, illustration, and excessive pathos. To this end, I will share pedagogical tools and methods that allow students to slow down and immerse themselves into touching and being touched at once – often perceived as a relief from their hectic product-oriented world. More specifically, I will discuss applications of experiential anatomy and Contact Improvisation aiming to help students respond attentively to the ‘real time’ and ‘vitality’ of physical contact (Daniel Stern, 2010). I’ll then bring examples of impulse-based activities and improvisation that enable students enter ‘narrative time’ (Stern, 2010) – the world of stories, character, fiction and text – with more confidence and expressive fluidity leading to a deeply felt dance of impulses. The presented practice proposes that by heightening the sensing of ever-shifting weight, orientation and muscle tone, students can not only manage but also deeply enjoy attunements and mis-attunements in work that entails physical contact. In this light, they become curious about how their bodies can and like to move; they learn how to make choices; respect mutual boundaries; and take risks.

Vanio Papadelli is a London-based independent movement and performance artist. She teaches movement, body-based composition, ensemble theatre and embodied approaches to writing as a regular lecturer in various HE Institutions (Goldsmiths, Rose Bruford College and Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance). Her practice merges elements from yoga, Laban/Bartenieff fundamentals, somatic movement, Contact Improvisation, Eastern European Laboratory theatre and dance-theatre. She holds a Practice-based PhD in movement training for theatre performers (Goldsmiths/Royal Central School of Speech andDrama, 2013).Vanio works as a freelance performer, maker, workshop facilitator and event organiser. Her performances deal with memory, intimacy and vulnerability and have travelled to Greece, the UK, Germany, Egypt and Lebanon. She also collaborates and performs with an eclectic mix of theatre and dance practitioners (Song of the Goat, Angela Woodhouse, aswespeakproject, Alex Crowe, Nesreen Nabil Hussein). Since 2013, Vanio has been developing with Tania Batzoglou the interdisciplinary life-long performance ritual CANDID, that explores female friendships as they evolve over time and repeats itself at least once a year in different iterations – including live performance, installation and film.

18.00-20.00 Dr. Kiki Selioni Laban –Aristotle Theory and Practice workshop Part3

Panel discussion: Professor Sergei Tcherkasski, Juliet Chambers-Coe, Katia Savrami

20.30Nicole Perry, CLMA. University of Miami. nrp59@miami.edu or nicoleperrydance@gmail.com

Intimacy Direction

Intimacy Direction, a relatively new field in stage and film industries, refers to creating and setting moments of intimacy. Moments of intimacy may be defined as moments that require personal vulnerability between characters, often involving physical contact. The goal of having Intimacy Choreography is to create work that respects the agency and boundaries of the performers, while telling the story of the play, musical, ballet, film, etc. An important aspect of choreography is that it is repeatable. Therefore, documentation is necessary.The Laban Bartenieff Movement System is an incredible tool for Intimacy Directors/Choreographers because it provides a desexualized language for coaching and creating movement coupled with notation for recording purposes. This paper and presentation explore how the author used L/BMS motif notation as a choreographer and intimacy director/choreographer to support her creative process, and how the use of motif bolsters the creative process of the entire production, as choreography is set, documented, and maintained. This process deepens meaning making for both the Intimacy Choreography and the performers with whom they work. Note:This paper has been submitted for publication with the Journal of Movement and Literacy.

Nicole Perry is an intimacy choreographer and coordinator, as well as director and choreographer in South Florida. Recent credits include Imagine: a Journey in Dance at the Kravis Center, choreography and intimacy direction for the US premiere of The Glass Piano at Theatre Lab, and intimacy choreography for In the Heights with Measure for Measure Theatre, where she is the resident intimacy choreographer. She is a Certified Laban/Bartenieff Movement Analyst through Integrated Movement Studies.  Nicole provides guest teaching in Laban for Theatre and/or Dance, as well as Consent for Performers and Power Dynamics in the Rehearsal Room, through Momentum Stage. Nicole founded this non-profit to provide affordable resources in best practices for performing artists and teachers.  Nicole is an adjunct professor of dance at the University of Miami and teaches dance at a public middle school. She is a member of Stage Directors and Choreographers Society and the Association of Theatre Movement  Educators. She apprenticed with Intimacy Directors International.

21. 00 Kristina Fluty, Assistant Professor The Theatre School at DePaul University, Chicago, IL, USA kfluty@depaul.edu

Teaching demonstration

Embodied Transitions: Effort Modulation for Actor Self-Care

Introduction

In this session, participants learn to apply the practice of Effort Modulation to the process of entering and exiting a role. Performers engage in this activity for the purpose of warming up, creating better boundaries between self and role, and ultimately fostering better self-care.

Participants arrive prepared to work with a role that they have performed before, or a dream role that they have studied enough to be able to identify some personality traits that could be transposed into movement behavior (ideally with textual evidence). Participants should also have a working knowledge of Effort – the Motion Factors, States, and Drives – for improvising and building brief movement sequences.

Supporting Information

In addition to setting forth specific pathways in Space through his development of movement scales, Laban also asserted that one could move “from mood to mood” in qualitative expressions, using the model of the cube to illustrate the “dynamosphere” (see image 1 below). He also applied the “Law of Proximity” to these investigations, finding that it was easier to move ‘from mood to mood” when the mover is going between movements that share some Effort qualities, i.e. it feels more harmonious to move from the Action Drive of Wring to Press than it does to move from Wring to Flick. He further noted that people also seem to engage in a perceptible flow of sequences between emotions, and that there are harmonic relationships between the emotions (Moore, 2009, p. 263).

Carol-Lynne Moore correlates Laban’s theory to the notion of “modulation” in music theory, and has thus set forth that movers can engage in “Effort Modulation” in order to find grounded pathways between extreme expressions (Moore, 2009, p. 264).

I have been teaching the Effort Modulation process to acting conservatory students for the past five years, finding much success in helping movers to feel more grounded and inter-connected in their physical movement and self-expression. As the higher education experience takes higher tolls on students’ well-being, I have committed to teaching students how to build specific self-care practices that emerge directly from their training. Actors need specific and embodied means to enter and exit roles so they can maintain safer creative practices and care for themselves while in creative process. In short, this process helps actors move into character

with more embodied detail, and then move out of the role so they do not take the work home with them.

How does one modulate through Effort qualities?

Essentially, when a mover modulates from one Effort State to another, into a Drive, to another State, etc, they do so by only changing one Effort quality, and/or adding in or taking away one Effort quality, at any given moment. So, if a mover is in Remote State and wants to move into Float, a modulation might look like this:

Free flow and direct space à

free flow, direct space, and sustained time à

direct space and sustained time à

indirect space and sustained time à

indirect space, sustained time, and light weight

This gradual change allows for the mover’s neurological system to adjust to the changes in a more integrated way. The movement feels more “harmonious” and connected, and the correlated expression of the inner landscape of the mover’s bodymind allows for the gradated shifts to be cognitively registered and processed as they move.

My students, clients, and professional collaborators report that this gradual shift into character helps them move more deeply into the role, and the subsequent modulated shifting out of the character helps them find their selves more coherently again, so they feel ultimately more settled and able to care for themselves when working in difficult material. Frankly, an actor benefits from modulating in and out of the roles they play no matter how “difficult” they find the role to play; this feeds their work-life balance and augments other self-care practices.

Kristina Fluty is a dancer/choreographer/educator based in Chicago, IL, USA. She is an Assistant Professor of Movement at The Theatre School at DePaul University, where she is thrilled to be able to teach Laban/Bartenieff and Contact Improvisation to actors in the Performance Conservatory. Kristina’s main creative home (since 2003) is Molly Shanahan/Mad Shak, a modern dance company that just celebrated 25 years of innovative dance-making. She has also served as an Intimacy Consultant/Facilitator for (among others) Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Victory Gardens Theater (both Chicago), and Center Theatre Group (LA).

Fees:

Conference Attendance:   100 €      Student &unwaged  50€

Workshop participants:   75€For info and booking please send your application and brief cv to:Kiki.Selioni@cssd.ac.ukKiki.Selioni@themakingsactor.com