Alexander and Improvisation

"True spontaneity is born of knowing your instrument." 

-Konstantin Stanislavski, Russian theater director, acting teacher, and innovator 

changing our use of the body is a leap of the imagination

When artists shed unnecessary habitual patterns, they are often able to discover new shadings and approaches to a character, movement, sound, or art piece. A change in physical dynamics can help an artist access creative resources which otherwise may remain dormant. Improvisational explorations help channel the heightened awareness that Alexander provides as artistic expression finds its form. Changing our use of the body is a leap of the imagination. Improvisation fuels growth and change.

In working with groups of performers, improvising with specific Alexander dynamics and principles facilitates an underpinning in the physical realm which cultivates a lively sense of ensemble and interaction.

Judith regularly incorporate improvisational structures into her Alexander group work with artists of varying disciplines – dancers, visual artists, musicians, and actors. Her paper on Alexander Technique and Improvisation was the keynote lecture at the 2007 Korean Dance Education Society’s annual meeting in Seoul, Korea.

As part of the 2014 ImPulsTanz International Dance Festival, Vienna, Ms. Grodowitz led a workshop entitled "Alexander, Image, and Unfolding Empathy," which culminated in an on-site performance event combining improvisation and Alexander Technique. A video of part of the performance is below. 

2014 ImPulsTanz International Dance Festival performance at the Leopold Museum, MuseumQuartier, in Vienna, Austria.

Personal note:  

I began experimenting directly with the relationship between Alexander Technique and movement improvisation in 1984. While training to be an Alexander teacher, I was also creating original, set material via improvisational processes as a member of the Obie Award winning company, Skyfish Ensemble (Best New American Play). By expanding my awareness in Alexander terms, I found that availability to my imaginative resources and the rehearsal material was heightened considerably.  Reciprocally – beginning explorations from an aesthetic impulse fueled my experience of the movement dynamics that Alexander promotes. My extensive work with actors and my ongoing interest in visual imagery continue to fascinate me and to fuel this focus of my work.

"...being held together with a group of performers by something other than words."

-Spalding Gray, actor, writer