Wednesday, May 29th 2024

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1. Communicating with the Body

Mime uses silence and the body as tools for communication. When you write a book you take some consonants, some vowels, some commas and other writing materials and put them together in a certain way, according to your understanding, so that they express your thought fully. Eventually you have a book. It is the same idea with the body. Mime is a tool for self-discovery. With it the body can express itself. Bodies are letters in constant motion. Start with one movement, add another, and eventually you have a whole piece.

The techniques of mime help to integrate mind and body. Harmony of mind develops through using the imagination and becoming aware of the movements, actions, and reactions used in presenting oneself. When the muscles and breathing are truly moving in tune with the mind, the psyche is free to experience the meaning of subject and object, time, space, and consciousness.

Bodies are like broken vessels; they have to come together. Before this can happen you must know the shape of every piece and how it relates to the other pieces around it. Every area of the body has its own being. In order for the whole body to do one perfect movement with no broken pieces, first take it apart piece by piece. See what each part is made of. Learn how each part moves and teach it new techniques of movement. Decompose in order to recompose later. When we say decompose, we mean it in its essential sense to de-compose, to examine the particles that form the composition.

The key is attention, not tension. Teach the different body areas to relax before they act. Whenever you make a movement, be occupied with it. Do it consciously. Concentrate, focus on it. Become "pregnant" with what you are learning. Then something will be born.

Concentration doesn't take any effort; it is effortless. Just be with whatever part of the body or whatever thought or project you are working on. You never need to try to do anything. Just DO it! Express effort without effort. In mime, you can push a 10-ton truck uphill all by yourself. If you exert the energy it would really take, you would be exhausted by the time you were finished. Instead, when each body part knows what its own individual movement is, the whole action can take place easily and appear intensely real. Give - the - place - and - time - to - every - move - ment.

Mistakes are fine as long as you correct them. As soon as you see a mistake, correct it immediately. When you notice the pelvis is not in the right place, simply send a telegram to that body part. Mistakes are our teachers. Find out which areas of the body do not listen and teach them to listen. Find out which areas of the psyche don't listen, and do the same thing. Every situation teaches something if we know how to listen for it.

Stay within your own possibilities. Do what you can do. If you're sloppy, so what? Know that you're sloppy and learn to be more precise. If you're precise, good. Learn more precision. In order to prevent accidents in any movement, be lucid, awake, alert. Awareness prevents accidents.

The movements open the doors to perfection and the unknown. After perfecting a technique, forget about it. After you give up a technique, you can become it. It will be embodied in all of your movements and actions.

It is not enough to learn decomposition in body parts, exploring them and mastering their movements. You must remember to do them once you know them. The word remember has two parts: re and member. That means putting the different members of the body back together after they have been taken apart. After dismembering comes the reassembling. All the pieces of the broken vessel come together, but now they are equipped to fulfill their purpose and potential as a vessel. Assembling all the parts means looking at the whole picture.

There is more to creating a mime piece than knowing isolated movements. As was said before, they must be combined in a certain way according to your understanding so they express your thoughtfully. A nice body making precise movements is not enough.

But just as you learn grammar so thoroughly that you forget it by the time you write a fully expressive book, so do you discover physically all the laws of movement before the body can finally express itself fully. The scientific aspect of the artist is to put the fragments in a frame. When you have reached that place, you will be able to walk through the door marked "Unknown."

"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.