Academic journal article Review of Artistic Education

Alternative Pedagogy in the Art of Theatre of the XX and XXI Centuryes

Academic journal article Review of Artistic Education

Alternative Pedagogy in the Art of Theatre of the XX and XXI Centuryes

Article excerpt

I. The multi-cultural alternative. Ideological interactions.

In the beginning of the XX century, starting with authentication of the term "director", it was discussed, for the first time and with the utmost earnestness, the problem of a scenic art pedagogy. Initiator of the most famous and used acting work method - but also argued, Konstantin Stanislavski understood, in the early XX century, that the actor needs a system which would learn him how to build up the character, how to interact with the others, how to "behave" on the stage, and also that it was not enough any longer a stage director giving only hints, but he also has to form people in this job. The theories of this bomeducationalist, as Stanislavski proved to be, were applied all over Europe, some identifying themselves with these roots, some others creating their own forms of expressing or work methods. Established in 1897 under the twofold lead of Stanislavski and Nemirovici-Dancenko, The Art Theatre of Moscow was not condensed in a mere auditorium dedicated to the stage plays belonging to the texts of the realist theatre, but it also had some studios where the actors or the young people wishing to follow this path could access a rigorous education aiming this goal, based as we know, on emotional memory, on psychological gesture and on the test of "what if...?". It was imposed this way a solid system that, even if it was a subject to some convulsions in time, is legitimate to be considered as a roads opening, in terms of theatrical pedagogy. In time, in Europe has been consolidated the public theatre education that taught, not rarely, the Stanislavski concepts. But once a certain type of education is fortified, there appear, as if they would counterbalance, the system derivations. Formed under the master of Art Theatre, Michael Cehov establishes his own studios in United States of America, Vsevolod Meyerhold develops his own personal method of bio-mechanics, Evgeny Vahtangov sets up his own theatre in Moscow, in 1920, and the Pole Richard Boleslavsky applies in film directing what he actually has learned under the Russian school wand.

The directing personalities have proliferated throughout Europe, some embraced the epic theatre of Bertolt Brecht, others the verism of Stanislavski, while some others adopted the avant-garde. More important is the fact that, starting with the half of the XX century, there were much developed, from an absolute necessity, the theatre workshops or laboratories. The initial aim, the way the Art Theatre in Moscow started it, namely the workshop operated as a school of an institution, changed somehow its profile. The renowned Jerzy Grotowski had been founding, in 1959 at Opole, The Laboratory Theatre, receiving a license from the Polish Ministry of Culture. But the interest of this director was the redefining of actor, and not necessarily the implementation of a method as only path to follow for a career, as unique recipe in front of stage routine. The greatest fear was not the lack of a work method, but to find out some valves by which the actor would be able not to fell prey to mannerism, to impossibility to create, and not to be tributary to conventionalism. The director suggestively says in this sense: "We suppress in actor what it blocks him up, but we do not teach him how to create (...) because in this very how to dwells the germ of banality and of clichés that defies creation" . Admitting the influences of Stanislavski's system, integrating resources of philosophy and Asian theatre as well, Grotowski builds up a series of exercises - physical, vocal, of focusing and relaxing - which have as purpose the stimulation of authentic creativity. "The method" is not generally valid, but, just as its author desired, is one that allows the actor to rich the inner exploration, the inner acknowledgement and the multiple work possibilities with his own mind and body. This purpose attained its target at Opole, then later at Wroclaw - the city where starting from 1965, the Grotowskian Laboratory has moved - as memorably spectacles were put on stage (Cain of Byron in 1960, Akropolis of Wyspianski in 1962, The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus of Christopher Marlowe in 1963, to name just a few) and also were accomplished some projects (for instance, a series of six video/audio footage: The Tourists, in 1961; Clay Pigeons, in 1961; A Silesian Memoir, in 1961 ; A Worker's Oratory, in 1962; Masks, in 1963; Hymns, in 1964). …

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