THE IMPROVISING ACTOR: Finding The Artist Within with GRAHAM DIXON

THE IMPROVISING ACTOR
Finding The Artist Within

A workshop in the Michael Chekhov Approach
to acting and the Arts

"The actor who has not felt the pure joy of transforming himself on the stage with each new part can scarcely know the real, creative meaning of improvisation"

- Michael Chekhov

Course to be taught by GRAHAM DIXON
Director and Founder of the MCSL
MCSL Patron is Simon Callow

In Michael Chekhov’s terms, improvisation is a means to an end, not an end in itself. And what is that end? To connect to our higher creative self or the ‘real actor’ within: the artistic part that ‘knows and informs’.

- How to have fun in doing what we love instead of having a nervous breakdown in creating a part.

- How to experience a balance between limitation and creative freedom when improvising rather than just "winging it".

- How to penetrate the essence of a rôle to ensure it differs from your personality and will be devoid of clichés.

- How to create a genuine connection and ensemble feeling with your fellow actors.

ABOUT THE WORKSHOP
We will use Anton Chekhov’s “Uncle Vanya” as a basis for exploration and the following will be revealed to us artistically:
(a) the essence of character,
(b) the dynamics, structure and composition of scenes,
(c) the whole “idea” of the play.

To begin, we will explore very simple and basic improvising exercises on how to coax out and tempt the ‘real actor’ within us to come and play. The essence of these simple exercises is:
(a) how to tame intellectual thinking,
(b) what is meant by the artistic necessity to “keep moving”.

We will then apply these new improvising methods to explore and practise Michael Chekhov’s basic improvisation exercise (exercise 12 in the original 1953 English edition of “To the Actor”). This will enable us to go beyond dry intellectual text analysis.

Through this process of exploration and practice, we will develop a relationship with this unfamiliar part of ourselves: the “Poet” as opposed to the “Prosaic” - the “Extraordinary” as opposed to the “Ordinary” - the “Artist” as opposed to the “Artisan”.

NB - There will be separate Voice and Movement teachers working with the group.

"Only artists united by true sympathy in an Improvising Ensemble can know the joy of unselfish, common creation."
- Michael Chekhov

The course is taught in English with translation into Russian, if required, and each participant will be able to work in their own language.

FULL INFORMATION and the chance to register will be available in January 2016 on the website of the Chekhov International Theatre School in Melikhovo:

http://chekhovtheatreschool.com/

VENUE
The Estate of Anton Chekhov
Melikhovo, Russia 142326

WHEN
7 - 17 August 2016

SCHEDULE
Yet to be confirmed with the CITS in Melikhovo.

COST
Yet to be confirmed with the CITS in Melikhovo.

CONTACT & REGISTRATION
Yet to be confirmed with the CITS in Melikhovo.

PARTICIPANT NUMBERS
10 maximum approximately

PARTICIPANTS - WHAT MUST I PREPARE?
You are to prepare and memorise a monologue from “Uncle Vanya“ in English or in your native language. If you wish to work with another person, you can also prepare a dialogue. You are also asked to bring a short children’s verse or nursery rhyme - one you learned as a child and know “by heart”.

PARTICIPANTS - WHAT DO I WEAR?
Please wear loose black comfortable clothing and soft footwear with no heels in which to work. Please no trainers or sports shoes. Your feet need to sense the floor easily.

ACCOMMODATION, VISA, ETC.
Yet to be confirmed with the CITS in Melikhovo.

ABOUT GRAHAM DIXON
Founder and artistic director of Michael Chekhov Studio London with an experience of over 35 years in this work. He is recognized internationally as one of the artists and most important teachers in this approach to the world of imagination and creation.

Graham has been involved in Michael Chekhov work as a professional actor, director and teacher for nearly 50 years having studied with and met many of Chekhov's original students. He is recognized internationally as one of the artists and most important teachers in this approach to the world of imagination and creation.

He first trained and worked professionally as an actor in Sydney, Australia, where he studied voice & speech with Alice Crowther - Chekhov’s speech & eurythmy teacher in England and USA. Contact with Alice and later with the acting method of Chekhov brought an awareness of the inner nature of the actor’s craft: this interest has been the leitmotif throughout his professional life.

Graham furthered his training in Rudolf Steiner’s Creative Speech Method (taught by Alice) at the Goetheanum in Switzerland and The London School of Speech Formation. This was followed by three years work as a theatre director of Shakespeare plays and devised works with young people in Germany. Returning to Australia, he started his own theatre company, Dionysia Productions, and produced Henry IV, Part 1 in 1980. Since then, he has been active in directing, writing and performing for his company, which has toured Australia, the UK and Europe with imagination-based fairytale and Shakespeare programmes. In 1984 he returned to Europe and was a co-founder of the Michael Chekhov Centre UK (MCCUK), now known as Michael Chekhov UK (MCUK).

In 2005, Graham founded the Michael Chekhov Studio London (MCSL) in England and continues to offer workshops and classes in the UK, in Europe and USA. Actor and author, Simon Callow is the MCSL patron (formerly Mala Powers, Chekhov’s executrix). Like Michael Chekhov, Graham has an interest in the teachings of Rudolf Steiner and his Anthroposophy (Spiritual Science).

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Мелихово, Чеховский район, 142326
Чехов
07 August , Sunday 15:00

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