Movement for Actors Workshop

Presented by Michelle “Mitch” Uranowitz

Held in-person. Before your first class, please review the information outlined here. 

The primary objective of this workshop is to free up the actor’s channel through physical training. This work happens under the notion that the body is a channel through which we process our experiences into behavior — motion and sound.  When the channel is open, you learn to connect with and respond more spontaneously to an environment without tension or pushing. A large portion of the freeing-up process is psychological, which requires an understanding of and connection to your emotional and physical self. The result of being released (of physical tension) and open (in emotional vulnerability) is that the breath, the actors’ vehicle for experience and response, is now able to support the actors’ connections to the imaginary world. However, this is never accomplished in a vacuum. The unique insight of this training is the necessity for you to be in contact in order for the work to take hold. This happens through regularly practiced ensemble exercises drawing from Pilobolus and Viewpoints techniques getting the actors to work less cerebrally and more kinesthetically.

Pulling from exercises of Michael Chekhov, Lloyd Williamson, Joe Hart, Steve Paxton, Allen Wayne, and Julia Crockett you are given an arsenal of physical vocabulary and challenged to become fearless, expansive, unapologetic, and creative. A large portion of the workshop focuses on the studies of Rudolf Laban’s “Eight Efforts.” These Laban Efforts are the springboard for a final composition choreography project, where you will be asked to create your very own movement piece.

You will also be led through very intense stretching and flexibility exercises in the daily Yoga warm up. You are introduced to basic vocabulary of alignment — length of spine, width of torso, balance in the pelvis. We often associate alignment with tension (like a ballerina), and so we will also work toward redefining our relationship with being tall and aligned. Specifically, you are led through a series of partnering poses, both dynamic and static, that work to lengthen the musculature in the legs, lower body, and back. The strengthening and flexibility aspect of this work implements elements of yoga, acrobatics, T’ai Chi, and Aikido.