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Workshop: Biomechanics as Opera & Music Theatre Training


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Workshop: Biomechanics as Opera & Music Theatre Training

Opera, lieder or musical theatre, if you tell a story with your voice, this workshop is for you!

No Singer-Performer will ever enter a stage without her/his physical body!

Of course nobody can deny this statement. So why mention it? Simply because the opera and the musical theatre world has not fully incorporated this important fact of theatre physics!There are indeed two different standards ruling the training for singers. Following the demands of some outstanding contemporary directors and composers, the integral connection of voice and body/movement has entered the curriculum of conservatories around the world. But there is still that huge gap between the realization of what would be necessary to revolutionize the art form and the actual practical changes in the arts education. The more conservative music world wants to keep things the way they have been for a long time. Which means: Singing always comes first!

​“What a great voice!” They might say after a performance, when they praise their favourite performer of the evening. But how would that voice come to their attention, if there hadn’t been a trained Voice-Body on stage.

If one accepts the unity of the Voice-Body, there is only a little step to realise that singers need to be trained how to sing and move on stage… and sometimes this two things might happen at the same time... So this means that the Moving-Voice-Body is that new found unity and it needs to be trained in order to develop the full potential of a singer.

Finally it becomes clear that the Singer as the Moving-Voice-Body unity, is a kind of singing-super-actor, who brings together all elements of the Performing Arts: A complex human character driven by musical impulses (that the audience can hear and feel) takes action in space and connects with other complex human characters driven by musical impulses. They interact physically and musically in space and create a Gesamtkunstwerk.

Now, who would think that this rich complexity could be reached with singing lessons only? So the training that is needed will be complex and therefore it deserves a solid foundation.

The Workshop: Meyerhold’s Biomechanics as Music Theatre Training will help you to build this solid foundation.
Who is this workshop for:
This workshop is for singers (opera or musical theatre) who want to know more about Biomechanics and how to apply this psycho-physical actors training to their own work on stage.

What is this workshop about?
Meyerhold’s Biomechanics – a psycho-physical actors training: This workshop initially clarifies the particular background and the specific terminology of Meyerhold’s psycho-physical actors training and gives a practical as well as a theoretical understanding of how he communicated with his actors on stage.

This workshop will also introduce to the basic principles of Meyerhold’s Biomechanics: For example the principle of totality: If you move the tip of your nose, the whole body will move. Moving the most insignificant part of your body involves the movement of the whole body.

Terminology in Biomechanics
To understand the complexity of our body movements, we have to analyse them and look at every segment: E.G. Preparation – Execution – Fixation.
Otkas = preparation (also rejection)
Posyl = execution
Stoika = fixation

Two more specific terms in Biomechanics will be introduced:
Tormos = break – the ability to control your movements during the Posyl/execution in order to achieve a precise Stoika/fixation
Rakurs = an expression borrowed from film language will be explained during
the workshop.

The specific aim of the workshop is to make Biomechanics available for singers so that they develop a conscious way of moving on stage.

About the lecturer:
Dr Ralf Rauker is an internationally renowned specialist on “Meyerhold’s Biomechanics”, with 30 years of research & teaching experience in this field.

He studied acting in Berlin (1981-’85), worked with Jerzy Grotowski in Italy 1985 and in France 1987, took part in the "International School of Theatre Anthropology“ (ISTA 86, 95, 96) and the „Actors Laboratory“ 1988 at the Odin Teatret, directed by Eugenio Barba. Ralf received a two years postgraduate scholarship to research Meyerhold's Biomechanics (1988 – ’90) at the University of Arts Berlin. He worked from 1991-96 in close collaboration with Gennadi Bogdanov from Moscow on a long-term research project, teaching and documenting Biomechanics at the Mime Centre Berlin. In the nineteen seventies Bogdanov was trained by Nikolai Kustov, who was an actor and instructor for Biomechanics at the Meyerhold Theatre in Moscow, from 1928 until the theatre was closed in 1938.

1995 Ralf started his career as a theatre maker/director and has directed/devised more than 20 theatre/performance projects since then. 2003 - moved to Perth in Western Australia to work as a full time lecturer (later also course-coordinator), first in “Theatre Arts” at WAAPA and later in “Contemporary Performance” at the School of Communications and Art, Edith Cowan University. After finishing his PhD in Performing Arts at WAAPA, he started his international teaching program Workshops on the Move. Former Senior Guest Lecturer in Drama at the University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur,
he currently is a freelance coach/writer in theatre/performance and film in Australia, Singapore, India and Germany/Europe.

Also check out other Arts Events in Singapore, Theatre Events in Singapore, Workshops in Singapore.

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