American Course: Semester 1 Week 4

It is becoming very clear around here that our students are really settled into the routine and the swing of things. It’s a really nice feeling when the work that we are doing, the art we are making and the risks that we are taking become a comfortable daily routine. Of course, no day passes with out something exciting and different happening. Today I’ll just pass along some highlights from the week.

All of our students have made huge improvements in our biomechanics class and the challenges presented to them by their professor, Maria, continue to become more and more surreal. This week, just when all of their balance and coordination exercises began to sort of make sense, Maria asked them to complete these tasks while standing on a chair. Why is this important you ask? Our surroundings and perspectives can change all the time and we have to be aware of them and be able to work with them. An actor needs to be able to first control his own body and then be able to control it in given circumstances. In writing the challenge seems small, but the benefits are very great.

Acting/Directing class was a great adventure this week. The class meets five days a week for two hours and fifteen minutes. This week we split our time between two professors. The first two days of the week we continued to work with Natalia Zvereva taking a deep look into “The Seagull” while working with the Stanislavski System and the teachings of Mikhail Chekhov. For the second half of the week we worked with Alexey Litvin, a former student of Zvereva. With Litvin we continued into a very deep analysis of “The Seagull” and explored key scenes through improv, etudes and analysis. Litvin is a director at the Odessa Academic Russian Drama Theatre where he staged a production of “The Seagull” in 2005 which is still playing there now. This Monday we will finish up Act IV with him before ┬áchanging gears totally to work with GITIS Dean and Directing Professor Mikhail Chumacheko.