Organic Behaviour and Intentional Action: The Practice of the Performer

As actors, since Stanislavsky, we can understand behaviour 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 behaviour develop, grow and extend? The objective of the masterclass will be precisely to utilize the tools of the actor’s craft to search for organic behaviour.

Within the masterclass, under the guidance of Mario Biagini, participants will work on songs of tradition 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 are encouraged 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. Please no yoga or exercise clothes. Women should bring a couple of dresses or skirts for song sessions.

In addition to the singing sessions, we will explore fundamental aspects of physical training: sessions of structured games, improvisations, dances and exercises developed at the Workcenter over many years. The Workcenter physical games employ dynamic sequences of improvisation and structured games in the space, following the tempo-rhythm of the leader. This gives the participant the possibility to initiate 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 logic – not necessarily a narrative logic, and explore the resonance and dynamics of one’s perceptions – not necessarily linked to an interpretative perspective. The participants will have the occasion to see how such aspects are crucial for an actor, as sources that, in a mysterious way, enrich and make complex her or his creative process. Throughout these sessions, students 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 participant.

All masterclasses will run during the second week of the residency. The fee for University of Toronto students is $50.00 for the three-day session. The fee for students from another institution is $240.00 for the three-day session.  Extended deadline for applications: Jan 25, 2014.