Sign in or
Viewpoints with Emma Callander
This introduction workshop was on based on Anne Bogart’s adaptation of Mary Overlie’s Viewpoints technique.Viewpoints was created by Overlie initially for modern dancers and choreographers.
Overlie attributes her inspiration for the creation of this technique to the artistic movement of the 1960's centred around The Judson Church in New York.The movement was based on the creation of non-hierarchical art and the use of real time activities through game-lie structures and task orientated activities, much like The Factory's approach. Members of the movement included composer John Cage and artist Jasper Johns.
Anne Bogart, Artistic Director of SITI Theatre, went on to adapt the technique and created the 9 physical viewpoints of...
And 5 vocal viewpoints...
In this session we looked at the viewpoints of kinaesthetic response, repetition and we touched on gesture and shape and spatial relationship.
We began with some simple partner warm-ups from my work with the Polish physical theatre company Gardzienice which loosen up the body and brings attention to weight – and giving it to others.
We then used the simple viewpoints warm up where the group walks in a circle and they have a certain number of stops, starts, jumps and changes of direction that they must achieve as a group, trying not to be led by one individual but by cultivating the listening in the group to makedecisions together.
We then began to walk on a grid (imagining following the lines of a giant piece of graph paper on the floor) the group then tried to find a soft focus where they are looking ahead, not at the floor, and not focusing on any one particular spot but letting their focus take in the whole room.Working on this grid we experimented with the extremes of tempo, of kinaesthetic response - only moving when an outside force motivates you – be that a sound, or a movement.We then moved onto only repeating what we could see outside of ourselves, but the repetition could be transposed into a different part of the body – a movement you see in a leg you can place in your arm, in your face, in your fingers – thus touching on shape.
The final element we introduced to this stage was special relationship.
After a short break we then looked at behavioural gesture with a clear beginning, middle and end. We tried our own personal extremes of tempos - keeping the attention to detail throughout.Finally we split the group in half and had one standing in a row looking at the audience and working only in lanes (as in a swimming pool). The actors were to move only in kinaesthetic response, introducing their behavioural gestures and keeping in mind the changes in tempo - level and repetition and shape from the earlier work.
It quickly became obvious there were too many aspects to work at once so the second group began with simple stop, start, change direction and tempo as their movement language to begin with. From here we moved away from the lanes into the space and opened it to a free for all using all the elements we had been working with.
I am relatively new to Viewpoints and through running this workshop I became aware that I we were trying to cover too much ground too quickly – each of the viewpoints can be worked on alone for a session – the slower you take this work it seems the clearer the result. I guess it takes bravery to stick with one simple action for a long enough time, a good lesson to learn...again.
By the end of the session there were some beautiful moments beginning to happen though, the group responded really well to the work which can often be more exciting for the observers than the participants, begging the question do we really perform for ourselves or for the audience?
I look forward to experimenting with Viewpoints on text this coming Friday.
I was working from my experience in Viewpoints with Daniel Kramer and supported by “The Viewpoints Book” by Anne Bogart and Tine Landau. SITI theatre company also run workshops on Viewpoints and Suzuki each summer in the USA for more info see http://www.siti.org
Latest page update: made by EmmaCallander
, Apr 9 2008, 1:22 PM EDT
(about this update
About This Update
Edited by EmmaCallander
45 words added
17 words deleted
- complete history)
More Info: links to this page