Your Body Knows: A Movement Guide for Actors, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Your Body Knows

A Movement Guide for Actors, 1st Edition

By Jana Tift, Meade Andrews


312 pages | 61 B/W Illus.

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Paperback: 9780367258825
pub: 2020-02-12
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Your Body Knows provides the foundation actors need to move with ease and power. It is a practical guide to movement starting at the very beginning: knowing your body and experiencing how it works.

Through the work of F.M. Alexander, Rudolf Laban, and Michael Chekhov, this book offers basic training in movement fundamentals. Its step-by-step process supports the actor's work in any acting or movement training program and as a working professional. The book focuses on three main areas of exploration:

  • Body facts – Know your body and its design for movement. Let go of misinformed ideas about your body. Move more freely, avoid injury, and develop a strong body-mind connection.

  • Movement facts – What is movement? Discover the movement fundamentals that can serve your art. Explore new ways of moving.

  • Creative Inspiration – Connect your body, mind, and imagination to liberate authentic and expressive character movement.

Your Body Knows: A Movement Guide for Actors is an excellent resource for acting students and their teachers, promoting a strong onstage presence and awakening unlimited potential for creative expression.

Table of Contents

Part 1. Know Your Instrument 1. Your Motion Detector 2. Your Three-Dimensional Body 3. Your Moving Breath 4. Get to Know Your Joints 5. Joint Connections in Your Head-Spine-Pelvis 6. Joint Connections in Your Arm Structure 7. Joint Connections in Your Feet, Legs, and Pelvis 8. Strong Bones, Dynamic Muscles 9. Connecting Your Joints and Your Whole Body 10. Your Body-Mind Connection 11. Body Myths vs. Anatomical Facts 12. Your Primary Coordination 13. Your Inner Space 14. Exploring "Outer Space" 15. Inner and Outer Space: A Movement Partnership 16. Connecting Body, Mind, Breath, and Space 17. Practicing Presence Part 2. Elements of Expression 18. Authentic Impulse: Listening Within 19. Your Body Leads the Way 20. The Four Brothers 21. Space 22. Time 23. Weight 24. Flow 25. Exploring the Efforts 26. Qualities of Movement 27. Shape 28. Spatial Tools 29. Text and Your Responsive Body-Mind Part 3. Creative Practice 30. Whole-body Warm-up: Staccato-Legato 31. Movement, Character, and Relationships 32. Performing for an Audience 33. Movement and Space: Creating the World of the Play Appendix I. Practices for Further Exploration Appendix II. The Movement Pioneers

About the Authors

Dr. Meade Andrews is an internationally recognized, senior teacher of the Alexander Technique . She is a certified member of the American Society for the Alexander Technique (AmSat), and Alexander Technique International (ATI). She teaches Movement for Actors to students and professionals, and has served as a movement coach for over 40 theatrical productions. She is a certified teacher of the Michael Chekhov Acting Technique and has also done an extensive study of the work of Rudolf Laban and Irmgard Bartenieff with Carol Boggs, CMA. Former director of the Dance Program at American University in Washington, DC, Meade also taught at the Studio Theatre in Washington, DC for 20 years, offering classes in acting, improvisation, and Alexander Technique. With her colleague, Jeanne Feeney, she won the Helen Hayes Award for choreographing the Studio Theatre’s 30th anniversary revival of HAIR. Dr. Andrews currently teaches and coaches performers at Rider University, and the Westminster Choir College, located in Princeton, NJ. She has taught numerous workshops in the Alexander Technique for actors, dancers, singers, and musicians throughout the US, Europe, and Asia.

Jana Tift has taught movement for actors in academic and professional settings for over twenty years. Certified to teach the Alexander Technique, the Michael Chekhov Acting Technique, and Amrit Yoga, she has led workshops and coached actors and singers throughout the U.S. and abroad. Ms. Tift taught movement in the graduate Acting program at Florida Atlantic University for ten years. She also served on the faculty at New World School of the Arts. A student of Rudolf Laban’s work for many years, Ms. Tift is a founding member of the Labanites of South Florida, a collective of movement specialists dedicated to the study and promotion of Laban’s work. She has been a Hendrix-Murphy Foundation Artist-in-Residence at Hendrix College and an artist-in-residence at The Ragdale Foundation. She has received Best Director honors at the American College Theatre Festival (Louisiana), the Thespie awards (Michigan), and the New Hampshire Theatre Awards. She is a teaching member of Alexander Technique International (ATI) and a proud member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society. Ms. Tift holds an MFA in Theatre from Florida State University.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PERFORMING ARTS / Acting & Auditioning
PERFORMING ARTS / Theater / General
PERFORMING ARTS / Theater / Direction & Production