chapter  3
30 Pages

Movement Masters

Examining the leading innovators and disciplines in actor movement training
WithRobert Barton, Barbara Sellers-Young

This chapter presents the need for effective movement training to be somatic. It identifies the most prominent contributors to training as well as additional widely practiced disciplines. A somatic approach to performance training includes a variety of Asian physical disciplines and other physical disciplines that are offshoots of these, such as Pilates, Rolfing, Neuro Linguistic Programming, hybrid forms, massage, meditation, visualization and contemplative practice. All somatic methods promote the self as inseparable from the body and involve learning to listen and live inside the sensations and related deep internal connections. Frederick Matthias Alexander was a Shakespearean actor who developed a problem with his vocal delivery. He found that an adjustment of the head, neck and spine and general release in the upper torso resolved the problem. The Alexander technique is taught by vocal coaches and musicians as it allows for the free alignment of all aspects of the vocal tract by consciously increasing air flow.