Michael Chekhov on the beach
Michael Chekhov on the beach
A three-week in-depth exploration
into Michael Chekhov’s acting technique
on the island of Aegina, Greece
Monday August 10 – Friday August 28, 2020
DANCING WITH GODS AND GODDESSES
Organised by the Michael Chekhov Studio Paris, the three weeks of practical exploration into Michael Chekhov’s approach to acting on the island of Aegina aim to give participants an experiential overview over this approach to theatre. It will start with the first practical exercises and continue by applying them to the rehearsal and performance processes.
In the mornings, the course will explore many different aspects of Chekhov’s acting technique. These morning sessions will include an introduction to the approach to speaking Chekhov advocated for the actors in his training at Dartington Hall and in Ridgefield, Connecticut. This is known as Creative Speech.
In the afternoons we will be investigating the application of these same elements of the technique to the myths about the ancient Greek gods and goddesses who resided on Mount Olympos, getting to know them in their complexity and colourfulness; we may also look at scenes from Ancient Greek dramas in which these same beings appear.
At the end of the workshop, we will have the opportunity to create an open sharing of the explorations.
WEEK 1 : EXPLORING THE FOUNDATIONS
We will be getting to know the essential elements of the technique: this will include expansion-contraction, ideal centre, archetypal gestures, atmospheres and qualities, and qualities of movement, as well as exercises with the imagination.
The focus of the afternoon work will be the world of the Ancient Greeks and the twelve main classical gods and goddesses who feature in the myths. We will be investigating the main stories, getting to know the gods as characters, and acquiring a practical overview of their varying biographies as found in the myths with the help of Chekhov’s approach to improvisation and other techniques, such as living sculptures.
WEEK 2 : CREATING AND DEVELOPING CHARACTERS & RELATIONSHIPS
In the second week we will be expanding and deepening our understanding of the essential elements and then starting first explorations of Chekhov’s tools for creating character. We will also continue with speech and text exploration using tools drawn from Steiner’s Creative Speech.
We will be applying the essential tools of the technique both to specific characters and to the little works of art created from the improvisations from the first week. This will mean applying Chekhov’s approach to developing a living understanding of the characters’ relationships.
WEEK 3 : REHEARSING AND CREATING PERFORMANCE
The third week will continue to explore Chekhov’s techniques, and will include work on the Four Brothers and possibly styles of acting and speaking. It will also give stronger focus to the words the characters speak as expression of their inner life.
The intention of the work in this third week is to give participants a practical experience of what Chekhov calls the four stages of the creative process, arriving at the ability to embody or incorporate a character and create living relationships between characters.
We look forward to welcoming anyone interested in getting to know Michael Chekhov’s creative work and exploring the world of the gods and goddesses of ancient Greece!