Mimed movements:

  • Sports competition with winners and losers
  • A trip to the lake/river/seashore
  • On the ice rink
  • A tour in the mountains, etc.


Exercises 3.273–3.274

Exercise 3.273: A shows B a short series of movements. B learns these, and A and B move in unison. Then B works again alone, adapting the ‘foreign’ movement by making some changes, so the series become his ‘own’.

Exercise 3.274: Outside and inside. A kind of ‘counter-mask’ exercise for 3–4 people in an ‘Open Theatre’, working on the emotional relationships and tensions between the outer and inner life of a character. A, B and C are father, mother and daughter/son, and establish a scene. Each character improvises the inner state of their character with movement and sound. Sometimes they come back and act the outer situation.

Space (spaces within space, furniture)

Meyerhold-inspired exercises: Working with real walls, tables, chairs, cubes, beams. Experiment, learn and practise physically relating to the elements of scenography and work with them.

Exercises 3.275–3.281

Exercise 3.275: Passing by and relating to a table or a bench, etc.: Moving in the space, standing, lying, kneeling, sitting in front of, besides, behind, squatting, going around, creeping under, brushing it (from four directions with different speeds and different levels of energy).

Exercise 3.276: Find different ways to climb or jump over big objects.

Exercise 3.277: Touch the object, hit or point with different body parts, (approach it from four directions, with different speeds and energy).

Exercise 3.278: Sit, stand, lay, kneel, squat, crouch, balance on the object/support different body parts by it, lean on it or hang on it.

Exercise 3.279: Move the object with a partner or with a group.

Exercise 3.280: Have a physical dialogue with an object.

Exercise 3.281: Recite a text and relate it to an object.

Dramas with furniture

Furnish a defined space with furniture to suggest a bedroom (a bed, a chair and a wardrobe), a dining room (table, chairs, a door), a classroom (benches, chairs, desks), etc. The participants work in couples or threes: Father, mother, daughter (son, sister, grandchild, etc.) Each character has a basic problem.

Exercises 3.282–3.288

Exercise 3.282: Father, mother, child. Improvise a little scene with action.

The rules of the game are: Only one person moves at a time, the others ‘freeze’.

For each argument, each emotion, and each action, the body position must change and/or the participant moves in space, using the furniture as practised above in the Meyerhold exercises.

Exercise 3.283: The conflict. The leader decides who starts the conflict, while the others go along with it and develop it.

Exercise 3.284: Same exercise as above, but be aware how a person acts when they are high status (importance) or low status.

Exercise 3.285: Same exercise as above, but with sound and movement.

Exercise 3.286: Same exercise as above, with improvised text.

Exercise 3.287: Same exercise as above, by moving furniture.

Exercise 3.288: Use ‘the systems’ for improvising around scenes from drama literature, such as

  • Strindberg’s ‘Miss Julie’ (first meeting, or the cagebird scene)
  • Chekhov, ‘The Cherry Orchard’
  • Lorca’s ‘Blood Wedding’, (first scene)
  • Brecht, ‘The Caucasian Chalk Circle’, (meeting between Grusche and the soldier Simon), etc.

Stories by poses

Exercises 3.289–3.295

Exercise 3.289:[259] Fairy-tale (or event) by poses: in groups of three to seven participants. The leader proposes a fairy-tale, such as ‘Little Red Riding Hood and the Wolf’, ‘Hansel and Gretel’, ‘Snow-white’ etc. The group discusses which are the three (five) most important moments of the story and arrange themselves into three tableaus, or snapshots, in dynamic poses (freeze).

Exercise 3.290: Show the outcome to the group, and discuss its efficiency.

Exercise 3.291: Each of the three (five) incidents have three important sub-incidents. Arrange them into dynamic tableaus.

Exercise 3.291: Modify and practise the course of the fifteen tableaus.

Exercise 3.292: Same exercise as above, with sounds or short texts.

Exercise 3.293: Find transitions between the scenes, either in turns, short movements or steps.

Exercise 3.294: Add a short movement sequence into each of the 15 tableaus.

Exercise 3.295: Show the tableaus in slow motion, the transitions with speed or any other way to move.

The excess of expression (quantity and repetition) goes against expressive force.