This book situates the work of the renowned voice and movement trainer Arthur Lessac in the context of contemporary actor training as a whole.
Melissa Hurt uses Maurice Merleau-Ponty's theories of embodiment to frame Lessac's approach in terms of Embodied Acting, a key subject in contemporary performance. In doing so, she explains how the actor can come to experience both technique and expression as a subjective whole, through meditation and spatial attunement.
As well as feeding this somatic approach into a wider discussion of embodiment, the author provides concrete examples of how the practice can be put into effect, and studied at university level.
Table of Contents
I. ARTHUR LESSAC’S KINESENSICS AND EMBODIED ACTOR TRAINING
Contemporary Embodied Actor Training
The Pedagogical Challenges of an Embodied Practice
II. GETTING TO KNOW YOU
Back to Basics: Body Wisdom
Feeling the Process Within: Breath
III. BRAIDING PERCEPTIONS THROUGH HEIGHTENED AWARENESS
The Familiar Event Principle and Organic Instruction
Habitual Awareness Principle and De-Patterning Principle
The Braiding of Perceptions Through Gestalt
The Flow Between Body Esthetics, the Familiar Event Principle, and Organic
IV. THE ACTOR’S RELATIONSHIP WITH SPACE
The Actor’s Inner Space
The Actor Inhabits Space
An Expressive Other
V. SPONTANEOUSLY FREE
Braiding of the Sentient and Sensible
Subjectivity in Performance
Accomplishing Dual Consciousness
A Word on the Importance of Trust
APPENDIX A: SELECT TIMELINE OF ARTHUR LESSAC’S LIFE AND
APPENDIX B: SAMPLE CURRICULUM
APPENDIX C: EXPLORATIONS FOR PERSONAL DISCOVERY
Melissa Hurt is a Lessac Certified Trainer and has taught acting and Lessac’s voice, speech, and movement work at colleges across the United States. She has a PhD from the University of Oregon and an MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University.