What is the course about?
Discover the Alexander Technique as a tool for the performer in you. Develop stage presence by discovering how to become aware of, and how to move beyond your personal ingrained habits of reacting and thinking, moving and breathing. This practical hands-on course will help you to free yourself for creative expression as you learn to integrate freedom of movement in performance.
It requires using your whole brain, sensory mechanism, and emotional centre – your whole integrated being. Instead of trying to teach us to be 'right', the Alexander Technique teaches us to stop doing and thinking the 'wrong' and allow the new, unknown 'right' to emerge. It is an exciting journey into the unknown.
What will we cover?
We will explore the basics of the Alexander Technique through a range of practical procedures. You will become aware of, and unlearn, habits of misuse that show up as tension, restricting freedom of movement, breathing, voice and coordination.
• Eliminating and avoiding habits of voice and facial and body gesture that interfere with the performance
• Centring and grounding
• Spatial awareness,
• Balance and co-ordination
• Controlling performance anxiety
• Developing powers of observation
• Freedom and control of movement
• Movement and character work
• Change into and stay true to the character
Procedures will include basic Alexander Technique work; lying down work, sitting and standing, walking, and breathing. We will apply the Alexander principles to exploring freedom movement as a basis for expression and presence, through a range of release and creative/expressive exercises. Some anatomy and physiology will be introduced where applicable.
Please note that acting classes by their very nature can involve exercises and the exploration of material that some students may find challenging.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
• Integrate some basic principles and skills of the Alexander Technique in your performance
• Practice the AT in the classic semi-supine lying-down position
• Recognise the need for stopping your habitual reactions as a means to changing your creative expression
• Have a repertoire of movement procedures to continue to practice Alexander Technique in relation to everyday life and performance.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This course is for actors, musicians and performers of all kinds and levels and those wishing to train in performance arts. The course is suitable for complete beginners in the Alexander Technique, as well as a refresher for people with previous experience and as a compendium to someone having one-to-one lessons.
In order to get the most from the course you will be able to:
• Listen and respond to instructions and feedback.
• Communicate clearly in discussion and drama practice.
• Read and respond to a variety of text.
• Give and receive constructive feedback.
• Take notes.
• Work within groups and pairs safely.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
In pairs and groups. The Alexander Technique is a practical method which involves the students’ participation through direct hands-on work from the tutor, self-observation, and students’ observation of each other. We will work in small groups and pairs involving interactive movement games and application to everyday activities. There will be some observation and individual hands-on instruction applied to performance situations. Musicians get the opportunity to work with their instrument. The tutor will also have volunteer teaching assistants for extra hands-on work. You will be given course hand-outs, and be expected to apply what you learn between classes.
As part of the course content, your tutor may record your image for initial and ongoing assessment purposes. You are entitled to decline to participate in the recording of your image.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
Comfortable clothing should be worn.
There are no examinations, material or extra costs. Suggested reading: 'The Voice Book' by Michael McCallion; 'Bodylearning' by Michael Gelb; 'Use of the Self' by F.M. Alexander; 'Mind and Muscle' an owners handbook by Elizabeth Langford; Body, Breath & Being by Carolyn Nicholls, ‘Indirect Procedures’ by Pedro de Alcantara.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
As Alexander Technique is usually learnt in a one-to-one lesson, you will be given information on how to continue learning. You may like to deepen your learning by enrolling on 'Alexander Technique for Performers'.
General information and advice on courses at City Lit is available from the Student Centre and Library on Monday to Friday from 12:00 – 19:00.
See the course guide for term dates and further details