There is a genre of theatre, inspired by classical traditions in many countries (China, India, Japan, Bali) and pioneered in Poland and throughout Europe in the sixties and seventies, known as ‘physical theatre’ and sometimes ‘third theatre’. As a discipline it lies somewhere between dance and conventional text-based theatre. It is better known and appreciated in Quebec than in the rest of Canada. Robert Lepage is the best-known Canadian to come out of this tradition. It emphasizes an experience which is non-linear and non-narrative, and often uses poetry in performance. As such, it provides the most potent connection between the work of Poetry In Voice and the discipline of theatre. This exercise can serve as an introduction to this form. The variation for older students is a creation method that has been used by professional theatre companies who work in this form. A more practical note: in the theatre, it is often just as important to memorize a repeatable physical ‘score’ as it is to learn lines of text.
For inspiration into this little known hybrid of dance and theatre, students might be encouraged to look up video records online of physical theatre - Butoh, Grotowski, ‘plastiques’, the Odin Theatre.
In this lesson, students will have opportunities to:
- Practice physical discipline.
- Pay attention to detail.
- Rehearse, memorize and perform.
- Collaborate with other students.
Materials and Resources
To teach this lesson, you will need:
- a computer with internet access (YouTube, vimeo, etc.)
- note books, pen
- an empty space