Thursday, Apr 25th 2024

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Shaping the Silence Within


Dorothy Ormes, 1992. Chico, CA

"Working with Samuel is somewhat like being the overcurious sorcerer's apprentice. Enticed by the deceptive simplicity of the work, I dive in and suddenly find myself drowning in a flood, with brooms marching endlessly back and forth carrying even more buckets of water to douse me. In the nick of time, the flood subsides. The Mimagician returns, grabs me by a soggy collar and we turn back to page one in the Book of Silence . . . .My teacher is a big ring of invisible keys they dangle in my hands as I stand before as many unmarked invisible doors. There is no superficiality here. To slide easily on the surface of mime-form would be a betrayal of this art."

I worked with Samuel at Le Centre du Silence from the summer 1980 through December 1983. During that time I attended workshops, apprenticed as a co-teacher of children's classes With Ilana Gali-El and helped with typing the first draft of the Book Mime & Beyond.

In those everyday experiences as much as in the actual classes with Samuel I learned to value The 'moment' and to bring awareness to each process that I attempted. With that moment of Awareness it became easier to recognize my mistakes and forgive myself.

Since my work with Samuel I still live on the 'edge' of that awareness, slipping in and out Through different periods of my life. Sometime loosing touch with it completely, but always Cherishing the lessons learned and coming back to the realization that my ability to be 'conscious' And gentle with myself allows me to be gentle with others and with the earth.

Samuel helped me to regard my own negative thought patterns and those of others as a product Of an imbalance in awareness that can be deflected, even transformed, into positive patterns.

I came to study mime, a silent art of shaping the space without, and I discovered the art of Shaping the silence within.

The call to write this letter comes at a time when I am still recovering from a difficult divorce After a marriage of four years. It serves to remind me of what I am capable of as a loving human Being and has recalled me to my former lessons.

I now have a beautiful three-year-old daughter, Inanna, who is a joy and a challenge to me. Also, I have begun to train as a teacher of the Alexander Technique, a psychophysical therapy that I have Found to be extremely valuable for my own performance work as a free-lancer storyteller.

In the Alexander Technique the three main principles are awareness (of the physical holding Patterns), Inhibition) of those same patterns - - a letting go to allow the body to re-form itself), And Direction. (The ability to reshape one's nervous system and physical self-using information Discovered while working on the first two principles.)

Most importantly, as a teacher of the Alexander technique, the focus of the work is working on Oneself in order to effectively work on others.

This brings me to a new lightness of being and reminds me of the work I did on myself while A student at Le Centre du Silence.

I especially remember the importance of breath, breathing into shape in space, the 'wind within' As Samuel calls it. I still do the Plastique Exercises cycles everyday and work with breath while walking. This awareness of breath is invaluable in my work with the Alexander Technique, Which, by its very nature lends itself to creative application on every level of my being.

To me this is the most significant aspects of my work at Le Centre du Silence as well. It is ongoing and ever changing on subtle levels and always recalls my to my true self.

Editor's note:
Dorothy Ormes is a Storyteller, Actress, and creative Mime living in Chico, California

"Samuel brings awareness to the soul of people and gives the artists who work under his direction the need, dedication, and love for the world of silence and the beautiful art of movement."


- Marcel Marceau, BIP 1961

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Le Centre Du Silence
P.O. Box 745
Lafayette, CO 80026

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About LCDS

LCDS is an independent school for self-discovery through the human Arts.  The school offers seminars and workshops teaching the concepts of Theater, Mime, and Movement.