Physical exercises from level II are applied.

Difficulty levels are augmented (combinations of movement, movement in space, breathing, voice, added jumps and turns.)

Shifting energy from one type to another, as practised in part II.

The release of energy in a movement should be looked at more closely. The amount of energy used for triggering a movement is a quick impulse, ‘sats’[207]. It is ‘a physical accent that marks the body’s passage from immobility to movement’.

Enlarged and stylised, it becomes the arsis, a movement starting in its opposite direction, which Meyerhold called otkas[208]. It induces movement and makes it clear. Movement always has three parts: otkas (sats), posyl (movement proper), and stoika; the ending position.

Exercise 3.1: Find six movements or actions, and practise them with exaggerated otkas, with posyl and clear stoika, and join them together in a choreography.

Breathing techniques

All movements must be breathed. But breath must be transferred to the limbs as well.

Marcel Marceau

By consciously changing breathing patterns, the actor can change energy and expression:

  • Poetic energy is created by inhalation (movement ‘lifted’, effortless and gracious)
  • Aggressive energy is released after inhalation and holding breath for a minimum of three seconds, just before exhaling
  • Dramatic energy by exhalation (movement is slow, resistant and loaded)
Breathing techniques exercises 3.2–3.6

Exercise 3.2: Analyse a simple action (such as putting on a coat, drinking a glass of water). Dissect the action first into its movement units.

Exercise 3.3: Breathing movement: Do the physically upward parts of your action above while inhaling, and the downward movements exhaling. Movement is functional and sportive.

Exercise 3.4: Opposite breathing: Do downward movements while inhaling, upward movements exhaling, and become aware of the change of expression. Movement becomes dramatic.

Exercise 3.5: Violent breathing: Hold your breath, wait three seconds, and just before you feel the necessity to breathe out, do the movement quickly and violently, just before you exhale. Movement turns aggressive.

Exercise 3.6: Deep breathing, lying on the back, become conscious of the three respiratory zones: abdominal/ribcage/lungs.

Rhythmical work and dynamic patterns: exercises 3.7–3.10

Exercise 3.7: Do movement series in slow motion or live your life in the classroom in slow motion.

Exercise 3.8: Slow motion, stop and ‘freeze’: continue with a quick or sportive rhythm. Stop, ‘freeze’, continue in slow motion. The changes must be sudden, with nothing in between.

Exercise 3.9: Practise movement sequences using different dynamics: accelerating, decelerating, legato and staccato (in saccades). (Example: putting a coat on in saccades, like having a fever.)

Exercise 3.10: Abrupt rhythm, speed and direction changes (Practise the three-character-change exercise from level II.