Warming up the Space

preview image

Of the workshop, not of outer space...  Maybe inner space...  Dark and bright...

The workshop took place in Locarno, Switzerland, at a school connected to a church in the Citta Vecchia district.  The part of the church that had been a cloister for nuns has now been transformed into a school, but it retains a bit of its history, which added to the atmosphere and expectations of Byland's work.

We began each day with rhythm and movement with Oliviero in the palestra.  It was a great open space that allowed the 35 participants of the workshop to explore different beats, relationships, music, and instruments!
Oliviero's approach to rhythm instruction for actors is exciting and unique.  He draws from a wide range of music and pedagogy, always with the goal of encouraging each actor to feel rhythm in his or her own body.  Although many of the rhythms he incorporates are commonly associated with dances such as rhumba, salsa, samba, etc... he applies these beats to classical and jazz music so that students can hear that rhythm is not limited to one or two kinds of music.  Then, the actorly extension of this is to move away from the music altogether, so that the actor becomes free to discover the rhythm of the space, the rhythm of a moment, the rhythm of a character.  He is wonderful at encouraging intensity of movement in the space, emphasizing intensity of action over performance of a character or a situation.
Oliviero's warm ups gave a nice balance to the work that Pierre did in his late morning 'Parentheses' (more on that later...) and also in the afternoon improvisations.
The first week we spent largely inside the palestra for our parentheses and our improvisations.  But as our work progressed, we were encouraged to explore the space outside:
The grande courtyard
The piccolo courtyard



Indoor/outdoor hallways
And other spaces
As we progressed, we moved outside and were encouraged not only to play with the architecture, but to increase our level commitment to the level of the space which was, at times, stupefying and awe inspiring.  Hopefully our work/play pointed in that direction as well.



Originally posted from Switzerland on August 27, 2012 on Vivian's Blog After Andromeda.