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Acting – on stage and in film:

“Speak the speech, I pray you... trippingly on the tongue; Nor do not saw the air too much with your hand, thus; but use all gently...suit the action to the word and the word to the action…that you o’erstep not the modesty of nature”. – Hamlet Act lll Scene ll.

Hamlet’s speech to the Players is exactly what actors wish to achieve – honesty, clarity, impact, and simplicity of expression.

The Alexander Technique is essentially a technique for re-educating kinaesthesia – the refined sense we all have of how much or how little effort to make in our activity

It started out as a voice and breathing technique and is still used to produce robust, reliable and expressive voices. But F. M Alexander, himself an actor, quickly discovered the vital importance of understanding the relationship between balance and breath – one cannot expect someone who is either collapsed or rigid to be able to breathe well. In those cases, balance must be re-educated in order to recover proper breathing and vocal use.

By teaching actors how their bodies are integrated, the Alexander Technique provides the link between the disciplines they often learn separately – voice, movement, or acting technique, for example. In the experience of this writer, the Technique can resolve difficulties arising from the actor not understanding how, for example, a particular voice technique can be made to integrate with, say, a movement or acting technique - the answer being that sometimes they cannot be integrated - and therefore they are not helpful to the actor.

In the end, actors must be able to put all these things together in their performances. Alexander Technique, since it deals with the fundamentals of human balance and functioning, can therefore be thought of as the underlying technique which connects all their skills and which enables actors to make better use of them. This is why it is now taught in most of the major drama schools in the world.

>> Published article Alexander Technique and Acting.

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Steven Hallmark info@stevenhallmark.com 08-651 95 52
Drottningholmsvägen 19 1tr, 112 42 Stockholm, Sweden