IT STRIKES ME THAT WHENEVER WE LEARN ANYTHING IT IS USEFUL FOR US TO RETURN TO EXPLORE BASIC PRINCIPLES. And to do it without fear or favour, to treat our exercises with the same openness we found the very first time we did them or even beyond that, with even more spontaneity and wonder. Practise creates ease but can also create a laziness or lack of attention in the performer rendering the technique nowhere near as potent. The Chekhov Technique is no exception to this rule .
Whilst those of us have felt rushes of imagination and sensation almost from the first moment we began to use the Technique and gasped at how we could find feelings and transform character, I found myself that it was quite easy to get seduced into adapting a kind of ‘default’ mentality repeating movements moving with stock feelings ; this had to be worked through. Eventually through exercising the Higher Ego as Chekhov described it , what we might consider a kind of artistic eye on our process, we can discern and explore bravely at the same time. Peter Brook the famous theatre director and teacher, likened exercises to the weeding of a garden, how the actor had to continually ‘weed’ their creative patch in order to let creativity flourish. Musicians, dancers do not baulk at this – but actors can be a different story.
The expansive nature of this Chekhov work is liberating for a whole raft of creative activity, not just for acting . What working online with these basic principles can do can really encourage you is to be both alone with yourself working on the technique in parallel to working with the group and discussing what is happening to you when you do the exercises. So often in the room participants can become over- intoxicated with the intensity of it.
So for those of you who are going to join the four introductory online workshops, Practical Magic: Imagination and Body beginning 4TH MAY from 6 – 7.30 Irish Time (GMT + 1) run by my friend and colleague Declan Drohan and myself, we are going to explore Four elements of these beginning principles. The First is Expansion and contraction and the Six Directions, the second the Four qualities of Movement , the third Concentration, Images and Attention and the fourth what is known as the four Brothers, what chekhov saw as the Four basic essential elements for art.
Join us. If you wish to sign up email firstname.lastname@example.org. Our first LIVE DAY is also filling up fast. Thats on May 28th in Nuns Island Arts Centre.
Both of these courses are going to be a joyous remeeting of some of the basics of the Michael Chekhov technique to reawaken and reconnect.
PRACTICAL MAGIC / IMAGINATION AND THE BODY ONLINE MAY 4/11/18/25TH
A revisiting connecting up the body, imagination, feelings and voice which are at the absolute core of the Michael Chekhov approach.
Wednesday 6.00pm – 7.30 pm cost 85 waged/65 low waged/ 45 unwaged.
THE THEATRE OF JOY MAY 28TH 10-4 NUNS ISLAND ARTS CENTRE GALWAY IN THE ROOM
Activate – Connect – Radiate venue Nuns Island Arts Centre Galway.
After our long Covid hibernation, Max and Declan invite you to a day long, celebratory return to live engagement.
We will explore breath, connection , energy, playfulness and ensemble . We will stoke the fires of imagination and begin to chart our course for future work….