Monday, Mar 27th 2023

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7. The Harmonious Cell

The human body is a community of cells. It is a macrocosm made up of millions of functioning bits of matter. Each part has its unique work to do. Each cell has its own consciousness. Ears, liver, uterus, blood, vertebrae, muscle, tongue, tooth, heart; each part is vital to the totality.

In the same way, the cosmos is a community of cells made up of many elements. Each person is a dot in relation to the universe, but each dot has its unique place in the whole. A group of people is also a collection of cells.

No matter whether the being is single or many, it must be harmonious. In order to be one being, there must be a unifying thought or motif holding the pieces together. When a being or group is harmonious, it has a certain balance that is clearly visible. In order for this balance to manifest, each cell must know its place and its work. Each part must know how it is vital to the totality.

To express the totality, we must first perceive it. We have to overcome our usual elephant-in-the-dark-mentality. Six men in a dark room each got hold of a different part of one elephant , explored it thoroughly by touch, and then got together to discuss their six perceptions of "elephant." One described the trunk, another the ear, and another the tail. The other three told their perceptions of the leg, the back, and the tusk. Each was sure he knew what an elephant was, but no one could see the total picture. If the being is fully awake and lucid, each cell will move and act very consciously and will be aware of the totality. An ensemble must serve an idea in harmony. Each person must know his or her place within the ensemble. Everyone occupies territory. You choose your place to sit, and then you must accept your position because you chose to sit there.

When there is harmony in a person or group, thought is transformed into an image or form. A "physical mandala" is an example of such a transformation. Three or four people freeze into a harmonious form like a mandala. Then, at the exact same moment, the all begin moving very slowly, changing the structure. Suddenly, the motion simply stops and miraculously , a new mandala is revealed. This can only happen when each member of the groups sees the whole picture. Each member must see not only his own perception, but everyone else's as well.

Every group contains leaders and followers, but the leader takes a certain initiative. An engine, for example, is the leader of a train. In movement, the initiating pulse or mark, is the leader. All the rest of the body parts are pulled along behind it like train cars following the engine. If the nose is the leader, it goes as far as it can on its own. Then, the head is pulled along after it. The neck follows, then the chest, waist and pelvis.

Walking uses two equal and perfectly blended leaders. Neither foot takes the lead. The leader was once where the follower is, and the follower will soon be where the leader is. It is simple. Accept that that which leads, leads and that which follows, follows. Any part of the body can be a leader. Any person in a group can be a leader. Just be careful not to al low the leader to become a dictator and the followers to become sheep.

Necessity is the leader of walking. An itch is the leader of scratching. Are you leading the movement, or is the movement leading you? A true leader is not seen. It does not make itself known. It remains hidden. As the root is hidden, the tree grows. When the blood stays in the body never to be seen, the body grows. In the same way, any leader should remain hid den. An audience doesn't want to see where the impulse to move in the group originates. And yet, in order to be hidden, you have to be very visible to those parts that must follow. It is because we stay tuned to that hidden leader that we succeed.

Mime is the only art form in which you can make the picture come out of the frame. You can make the sculpture breathe! The picture moves! The idea, the unifying thought, must be projected through movements. Every movement done by every person and every cell is seen by the audience.

A movement is a transition. In everyday life, transitions like taking the cap off the toothpaste happen too fast for us to see what takes place. In mime, movements are done slowly, one at a time, so they can be seen. Every movement must be done consciously in order for the idea to form. Every member of the group must know what part of his body or which person is the leader at any given moment. Each must give up some of his individuality to find the group balance. I can be her leg and she can be my arm! By moving consciously and by perceiving the totality, the invisible can be made visible.

If the ensemble is truly serving the idea in harmony, it should be as though one person were performing. Nothing happens until the right people with the right skills come together at the right time in the right place. Until all these thing come together, we spend our time perfecting our skills and learning to listen. Then, when the right time comes, we'll be able to hear.

"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.