Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Gabrielle continues to teach in her specialist field of Transformation and Imaginative Improvisation for MA acting at Arts Ed, London. (See below for more detail about this particular strand of her work as a movement artist.*)

Her ongoing movement classes at Quex Barn will be running Thursdays through May to July 2012. "As the evenings lighten and when the weather warms up we will work with the balcony doors open and the only disruptions are the sounds of sheep bleating in the field below!"

She has taken back on the running of the Junior Youth theatre at Theatre Royal Margate this summer term where the focus of the work will be linked to the themes of The Boat Project, (the South East region-wide Cultural Olympiad initiative led d by artists Lone Twin),.which arrives in Margate for the weekend of the 13th -15th July 2012.

Her involvement with

Biding Time

 will see her developing scenes from this to be performed over the opening weekend of the Cultural Olympiad's Pleasure Gardens on 23rd and  24th June 2012.  

              * About Gabrielle's Transformation and Imaginative Improvisation specialism.

·         The animal work develops the idea for the actor that the focus which is outside themselves will inform them inwardly.

·          The work insists the actor is in the moment and free of a psychological reality in the first instance, allowing the imagination to play a more active part.

·         The work develops in the actor her attention to detail. It is about specificity. The more detailed and specific the work is in the animal, the more detailed and specific the work will be in the human. The actor’s attention is not just on the animal/bird but on its surroundings. The way the animal behaves is in relation to its environment.

·         It teaches the value of highly focused observation and then absolute rigour and physical commitment in order to discover the inner and outer characteristics of the chosen subject. Through this process it unlocks the actor.

·          It stretches the actor in training far beyond their physical comfort zones but in a way that is specific and therefore easy to approach because they have a subject to return to again and again.

·          It makes relationship to the wider world thus taking the actor from self absorbed reflection to an interest and curiosity outside themselves.

·         Because animals are not conditioned by or subject to social conditioning; ideas about class, social status, etc can be liberated while at the same time – there are natural hierarchies, predators and prey – which establish immediate frameworks.

·         This work makes relationship to the natural world at a time when science, government and concerned citizens in many quarters are concerned about human relationship to nature. This work is essential as a result.

·         The worlds created by the actor, (which emerge around them as they inhabit the space in their animal human), allow them to draw upon all they know and have lived and absorbed. The world the animal human inhabits and in particular, specific situations surface. They are not a product of clever decisions but of inspiration resulting from time spent” in the skin” of the animal.

·         The work makes the actor dare: dare to give over completely and to be at the disposal of the subject. It demands a huge bravery to allow themselves to step out of the way. If they succeed, they allow us to see so much more, not less of them. We are allowed to see truth.

·         It is hugely liberating work.

·         Work with this much focus sharpens the actors to their relationship with others in the room and makes them spatially very aware and accurate.

·         The work develops compassion in the training actor. The actor learns not to look at things on the surface any more, but to see things with empathy. The level of directed curiosity allows the actor to really begin to see things. Specificity is key. This specificity will produce work which is unpredictable. Being non specific will bring predictability.

·         The imaginative improvisation utilised during this work is of huge importance. In the years I have taught this work, the need to spend more and not less time awakening, then coaxing, focussing and sharpening the imagined world of the actor has become apparent.  Dr Susan Greenfield talks about the impact of technology on young brains and the development of imagination, echoed by my observations of young actors.

·         The actor is learning to make visible the invisible world.

·         The work teaches a level of fiery activity through absolute focus and attention to detail. The work is active with its hugely muscular approach focussed on working in a different weight, weight centre, senses and tempo, (both inner and outer tempo).

·         The specificity within the noises that are found in the animal translates richly into the human and once again enables actors to make unexpected discoveries.

·         This work gives them a chance to be taken beyond the physical/emotional realm they usually inhabit. The strict adherence during the training that they return again and again to their subject and the world the animal inhabits is akin to any artist who takes their craft seriously, which is why the work is so meaty, provocative and challenging for serious acting students. It keeps the bar high.

·         Being approximate, being vague in the time spent in the animal, will only bring vague, generalized approximate work in the human. This equals banality. This banality has nowhere to hide when the actor is alone in the space in front of an audience.

·         This work is deep work. It is rich work. It takes time. It is hugely beneficial for the actor as a means to a rich, constant source of nourishment in their lives both on and off the stage.

·         It allows the actor ready access to creating the world of a play/film.

·         Increasingly just the animal work is sought. CGI draws upon physical artists and actors whose physical specificity allows film to draw on a human truth that also has a larger framework, enabling a larger spiritual awakening. These are not necessarily noticed by the audience but felt, seen, known and understood at a deeper level. It is this depth missing from so many actor trainings.

For more information you can contact Gabrielle at

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