MOVEMENT - Williamson Technique
Previous dance or movement experience is not required.
The Williamson Movement Technique is a method of physical training for the actor created by Loyd Williamson and based around his work with Sanford Meisner.
It is a physical process that focuses on how the body processes experiences through the five senses and establishes a connection to the circumstances and relationships of the imaginary world of a script and how it can shape the behavior that flows out of this connection.
This Technique is unlike any other physical training for the actor due to its focus on the body as a processing tool. This is especially helpful in the creation of the inner life of the actor: the imagination and the emotional connection.
The Technique is very useful for opening the actor to his or her own impulses, and freeing them for truthful and vivid behavior.
The full course is set up in three (3) 12-week modules and concentrates on freedom in the muscles that control breath; physical balance and alignment; an open throat and clear vibration of sound; and the creation of characters that embody this technique.
The following physical elements of the actor are explored in the class:
1. Availability: The physical and emotional components of the body.
2. Imagination: The ability to physically inhabit your own unique creative inspiration.
3. Expressiveness: The permission to behave in a free and instinctive way.
4. Awareness: of your own habits, body and self.
5. Physical Skills: breath, alignment, ease of motion and control.
Areas of focus are: the body opening to experience relationships, experience the imaginary world, release the muscles to free breath, allow the senses to take in whatever they contact, releases defenses and constrictions Two major aspects of the work are freedom and connection. First we develop a total physical freedom in one's behavior, and second we develop a complete connection with the relationships and circumstances of the world. The introduction to alignment through a concept called the Circles of Energy and developing the body for physical balance as applied to basic activities of standing, sitting and walking.
Continuing with the work of Level I the actor develops a deeper and more expansive opening of the body and the five senses. The actor creates various impediments such as drunk, blind, old age and fatigue. The following concepts and exercises are introduced: an open throat for unrestricted vibration of sound, in depth work on alignment including the upward release of the spine. In this semester we move on to the athletic portions of the technique including a complete set of physical exercises called: Seated, Standing, Lower Body, Circular Swing, and Legwork variations. These are designed for building strength, flexibility, musical phrasing and graceful presence.
If the previous semesters have been for bringing the five senses into full aliveness, contact, opening the systems of the body, and taking in stimuli, then the second half of the technique is for a flowing-out of behavior. The major concerns are:
1. Basic mastery of alignment
2. The mastery of the basics of the entire Open Choreography variations
3. Body that is fully connected through the five senses and expressive in both gesture and sound
4. Extensive exercises in the flow of sound with full use of poetry text, selected by the actors.