I write this after running a Voice workshop In Galway this last weekend. It always gives me the greatest joy to watch, as people start to connect their bodies, voices, imaginations and feelings. To realise how the tensions in their bodies can be melted with imagination, how the breath really is the fuel of the body, how life is all about radiating and receiving energy from one to the other, how words have energy and a direction of their own, before we even embark upon character, and how learning can be much more visceral than when writing an essay or passing an exam. As we worked on a chorus from Thebans,a retelling of the Oedipus/Antigone story, by Liz Lochead, soon to be visiting Galway for the Cuirt Literature Festival, we found wonderful moments of power .
When people come initially to a voice class, I feel they sometimes expect to experience something from a dimly remembered Speech and Drama class , which is not where I take them. Without marrying the technical practise with an imaginative psychophysical response, technical proficiency alone is almost worthless. Watching some of the participants in my course finding a powerful expression of language and feelings through voice and the body this weekend empowered not only them, but me.