On the final period of this two-year process, all partners in Greece are involved in the preparation of the programme’s final multiplier event, the theatrical play. During the second phase of the crea-lab workshops and through the application of the training units, the focus was on the use of body and the expansion of its abilities. This article presents the progress of this process, including the supportive use of music, sound, singing and movement.

During the pre-lab sessions (January-June 2022) we worked on the use of body preparation through activities of stretching, contact improvisation, mirroring and synchronizing movement in pairs/team, levels of speed etc. in order to achieve trust, self-expression and develop the coherence of the group. This work helped all participants find their individual “physical presence” [1] in the dramatic space. By the end of the crea-lab sessions (September 2022-February 2023) all participants had found a way to join in the world of the play, whether they move, speak or not. They had achieved a balance between individual difficulties such as nervousness, low energy, fear of self-expression / stage fright, etc., and the task given by the text/play.

At this point, it is important to introduce the concept of the “dramatic body” [2] of the performer. This term defines that theatricality and dramatic utility of a body on stage does not respond to norms of plasticity/beauty or other dominant stereotypes of society. The dramatic body is the result of a balanced relationship between self-identity of individuals and their body on stage and during the dramatic action/performance. All participants achieved to breathe, move, speak, sing or stand still and remain silent in their own authentic way.

Last but not least, we should mention how the music has been used as a key tool for the work with the body. During both pre-lab and crea-lab sessions we used live music (guitars, oud, bouzouki) in order to “clean up” our ears from both outer and inner noises of the day and start working. At the same time, music created the aesthetic space [3] in which we would install and expand the world of our play. In order to help our bodies to create and dive into this world, we grounded our work on three elements:

  • the importance of rhythm
  • the common singing                                             
  • the invention of lyrics and songs

The shift of focus from an outward stereotypical view to the use of  “real bodies” on stage, and the playful work with rhythm, breath, voice and metaphor, helped us create a safe environment, in which our bodies can be released and become a medium for the achievement of a genuine dramatic expression.

[1] For the term “Physical presence” see Barba E Barba-Savarese, “Dictionary of Theatre Anthropology”, 2006, Routledge

[2] For the term “Dramatic body” see Jones, Ph. “Drama as Therapy, Theatre as Living”, ed. Routledge, 1996 (p.230)

[3] Βοal, A. “Rainbow of desire. The Boal method of theatre and therapy”, Routledge, 1994

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