Actor's Body – an Evoked Drama

Jarosław Fret

The change, and an ability to recognise it, is the main and fundamental aspect of every drama. 

How to make a live, visible stream of permanent movements, how to structurize them within their inner microdramaturgical potential?
How to learn your partner a unique code of your own acting body communication? How to create a body – text without a common body language?
A comprehensive workshop dedicated to embodied drama.

During the workshop the dramaturgical concept of four physical centres of actor is introduced:
Pelvis/Coccyx Center; The Chest/Collarbones Center; The Third Center – The Breath; and Seeing/Hearing/Perception as the Fourth Body Center – all of them creating an unique organism for incorporating drama.

Jarosław Fret i Simona Sala. Phot. Magdalena Mądra

Breath – Centre – Movement

Przemysław Błaszczak

Breath – that what generates movement, as well as its particular manifestation – sound.

Centre – (sometimes) the centre of gravity, but also a living source of movement, its beginning and the place of control.

Movement – the form of expression, a centre-breath interaction, an evidence of existence (as the movement of the chest that makes evident the breathing).

Breath and movement are inseparably linked to each other, and on the elementary level they aren't subjects to our will (who is capable of holding his breath with such consistency that it would allow to stop all of the movement inside his body?). When they meet at the centre and flow out of it, they can be channeled and dynamized; therefore, these organic functions of the body become themselves an elementary material, the first and natural expression, a carrier of meanings.

Martial arts appear to constitute systems that are among the best in maintaining order in the breath–centre–movement relation, treating the issue in a most thorough and pragmatic of ways. Breath, through a right cooperation with the centre should generate movement which combines maximal efficiency with minimal effort. 

Partner training – focused on each other. Meeting, mutual relation, touch. How to listen, rather than to speak? How to do less in order to achieve more? Partner training is a subtle and attention-requiring form of encountering the other within the process of work.

The workshop will focus on the actor’s work with the body, toward acknowledging and overstepping one’s limitations, opening new channels of perception and communication. Through calling into being and subsequent maintaining and deepening of cautiousness, precision, continuity, openness, vigilance, sincerity, and readiness, there leads to a path of a deep co-operation, co-creation, and co-existence in the creative process. It is such understood partnership that constitutes the main issue of the workshop, in which the body, immersed in a stream of movement, a living and open structure resembling a scaffolding, seeks an encounter with a partner – given either by the presence of the Other, the working space, tiredness, or breathing. This scaffolding of sorts, and therefore the environment of the meeting, will be formed out of the work with individual training, partner and acrobatic training elements, as well as techniques of work with the body and breath descending from the Japanese martial arts: shintaido and aikido.

Przemysław Błaszczak and Maite Tarazona. Phot. Karol Jarek

Embraces. Dialogues Through Body and Voice

Nini Julia Bang and Przemysław Błaszczak

Through working with body and voice we focus on recognizing and overcoming our limits and performative fears and habits. Exploring the deeper connections between body and voice allow us to see how each world enriches the other, building new channels of perception and communication. We are intrigued to go further into the question of intention. Intention of movement. Intention in song. How do we take the crucial steps from doing an exercise to being an active and alive performer? How do we go from executing a song to actually telling the whole story through our voice? What is the journey to make an exercise or a song become vibrant and alive? How do we become more active performers with a living imagination and a full presence? By deepening the participant's connection with physicality, rhythm, breath and songs the workshop aims to awaken creativity and enhance the relation between body and voice.

Przemyslaw Błaszczak in partnership work with Nini Julia Bang

Flesh of Sound

members of the company

A one-day opportunity to work with Teatr ZAR focusing on voice and son, as well as the exploration of rhythm (based on Balkan and Caucasus rhythm patterns and improvisations), co-ordination and exploration of natural rhythmic tendencies, work with the connection of physical rhythms to the breath, and physical contact between partners.

Forgetting the Body

Przemysław Błaszczak

Social norms, conventions, etiquette and rules create an environment that shapes our physicality and relation to the body – that is, our “body view”. The way we walk, run, dance, touch ourselves and each other is culturally determined but so deeply ingrained that we readily identify with it and say “this is the way I am”. We don’t remember or seem not to remember that from birth we are exposed to intense training that never really ends, and our behaviour is a way of conforming to the prevailing norms.

The aim of the workshop is to make us forget the body as we know it, and make us listen to it in the here and now, in relation to ourselves, the surrounding space, our partners and group. By focusing on solo and partner training we discover new modes of perception, communication and improvisation that brings together, in a creative process, co-action, co-creation and co-existence.

Przemysław Błaszczak

Giving Breath. Forms of Liturgical Music of the Christian East and West

Jarosław Fret (with the assistance of other members of ZAR)

This workshop session is based on Georgian, Corsican, Sardinian and Greek music. The foundation and point of departure for the session is extensive practical research into the form of Kyrie Eleison, among others, as a breathing model of Christian meditation.

Concert of polyphonic songs in St. Merri Church, Paris. 20 October 2013

Into the Sound

actors of Teatr ZAR

Four-day workshop dedicated to work with different polyphonic traditions: Georgian, Corsican, Svan and Sardinian. The presented material becomes a starting point for coordinating song and breath progression and for harmonic improvisation based on different scales. Participants explore different sound textures using source techniques drawn from traditions from which Teatr ZAR takes its inspiration.

We believe that research into source techniques shapes the performer’s vocal identity, providing an answer to the question: what kind of person your voice is?

Vocal training of Teatr ZAR

The art of invisibility

Tomasz Wierzbowski and Aleksandra Kotecka

The workshop introduces three-part polyphony, basing on the various musical scales of Georgian music, both folk and religious, and making use of basic musical formulas. Through a selected set of exercises shaped throughout ten years of both teaching and learning experience of the leaders, it aims at developing what may be called a sense of polyphony. Working on a steady breathing, voice emission and color, as well as on close listening during singing – not only to each of the three parts being sung simultaneously, but to the whole vertical aspect of the music performed at a given moment – results in obtaining such a quality of sound where each of the individual voices disappears in the whole of a given consonance and can be no longer distinguished. The art of invisibility is the art of searching for perfect harmony. It is not only the craft of melting away, however, as it also gives the sense of how best to bring the individual back into view. Polyphonic music taken in this approach is a tool for improving the quality of presence of a performer, enhancing their focus and awareness of the big and small composition in which they are placed.

The same principles translate into the rhythm work (including polyrhythm) and merging polyphony with the rhythmical, enhancing the performer’s awareness and coordination.

The workshop is intended both for people who already have musical and singing experience, as well as for those who value music as important in their lives. 

Tuning the Body. Awareness

Kamila Klamut

For me, developing mindfulness of the body means, on the one hand, a challenge that might lead to the opening and broadening of the actor’s/person’s perception in her animal, biological core and, on the other, the development of the skill of looking into our inner self which is deeply connected with presence.

How to develop actor’s physical training to turn it into mental training?

How to expand the spectrum of the actor’s presence?

The work is based on elements of partner training and on individual actions. The common denominator is an attempt to build an internal line of actor’s dramaturgy, clearly discernible from the outside, but immersed in an organic process.

Kamila Klamut in Caesarean Section. Essays on Suicide performance

Voice Tale (Speaking Song)

Ditte Berkeley

A voice has a tale to tell. In fact, the voice has a million tales to tell, depending on the song it’s singing, the experiences it goes through, the person who is listening, the sounds surrounding it, the state I, who am singing, am in.

As an actress I enter into a dialogue with my voice every time we sing a song. I ask, “How are we going to sing this today? What about this sound, how does it feel? What does it say? What tale does it tell?” The exploration takes me further and brings more questions. This is the work of the performer who wishes to make the song a tool for a very deep exchange of experience between the singer and the listener. The voice is naked – it allows us to share on a level that we are not used to and where we often feel unsure. The exploration of its borders and its connections with the physical experience, with images, with associations, enriches our communication tools and allows for a space of discovery.

The work session focuses on an exploration into our own voices and our voices reflected and fused in the voices of others; on the strength of standing confident with the sound of our own voice, exploring its richness and building the foundation to support it – through breath, physical support, imagination; on discovering its strength when appearing singly, and its power when it adds to the richness of a common sound created by other voices.

Ditte Berkeley