Thursday, April 23, 2015

Costume Devising Workshop

Bobby Brewer-Wallin, the Costume Designer for My Case is Altered: Tales of a 21st Century Roaring    Girl, worked with MFA costume design students in a devising workshop just this past week. Students created a community time line based on responses to a list of questions. Using a poem by Elizabeth Alexander, students composed short five-minute performances using found objects.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Shakespeare Master Class

On Saturday, April 18th at 12PM in the Dance Rehearsal Room at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, two sections of around 24 participants and observers from a wide range of disciplines (Theatre, Dance, Education, Community members, Lyric Theatre, etc.) came together to learn a new way to approach Shakespeare, specifically Sonnetts, through the teaching of Struan Leslie.

After a pleasant introduction from Struan, participants began with a weight distribution exercise focusing on arms and legs. In partners they walked observing each others footing.   

"Locating your "Middle, Middle, Middle". There is middle left, middle right, middle center and those three points meet in the middle of the body. The diagonals meet."

Finding the "character of the sonnet": Where your physical state takes you and how does it change you?

"Your job is to be as precise as you can."

Participants from different disciplines worked to find the "shape of the relationship".

The idea of being connected to text on the breath, on the inhale.

Having the movement motivating the text, rather than the text motivating the movement. 

"We only walk as long as we breathe."

The concept of "walking the punctuation".

As all the participants, and Struan for that matter, were extremely enthusiastiac and engaged in the process, both workshops spent more time than anticipated, luckily Sarah Aker, from Dance, helped us secure the space for additional time! We are all excited for this Saturday's workshop "Creating from Something"!

"The Master's Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master's House"

Audre Lorde

Monday, April 13, 2015

Workshop One: "Intro to Practice"

On Saturday, April 11th at 12PM in the Dance Rehearsal Room at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, around 50 participants and observers from a wide range of disciplines (Theatre, Dance, Education, Community member, Lyric Theatre, etc.) came together to enhance their practices through the teachings of Struan Leslie.

Excited for the day, participants and observers from all disciplines, settled themselves into the space and prepared for the workshop ahead.
A few BFA Actors goof around before the workshop begins!
Struan introduced himself, went over what the intentions of the workshop were and how participants could integrate his tenants into their own practice. Struan made sure to thank the Dance Department and the Krannert Center for securing the space.
The day began with each participant receiving a copy of T.S. Eliot's The Wasteland. They were then encouraged to walk around the space keeping in mind the individual. One of their last activities involved re-reading the poem having their movement mimic their word delivery rhythmically.
Over the next hour, Struan introduced the room to his ideas about the "horizon" and how approaching the horizon can influence an artists work. Strategies and ideas such as, breathing to the horizon, locating focus and intention through the horizon, and finding resiliency, rigor, and body through your breath, were all being engaged.
Struan on breath: "Be on it, not before or after"
Struan on hesitance: "If you don't take the step in this world, you won't get another chance."
Participants played a game where they clapped and snapped sending energy to each other, focusing on making strong connections and being present with each other.
Recognizing their "habits" participants laid on the ground and explored their sleeping positions.
Then they worked with one another to reciprocate these positions on the other side of their body.
One of the most engaging exercises Struan led was about being physically aware of the individual and collective while moving to always occupy the largest space in the room.
"To be absolutely still is a choice. It is not our normal state."
At the end of the day participants and observers thanked Struan and all who made the residency possible. Participants were also extremely eager to secure their spot for Struan's next workshop: Shakespeare Master Class.