Alexander and the Performing Arts
"A task of self-knowledge for the performer: to find what liberates your strengths...One must ask—what am I doing to keep me from my full potential/powers?"
-Daniel Nagrin, dancer, choreographer, educator
Performing artists require a seamless unity of body and mind. Freely flowing emotion and presence are necessities. The body must support, rather than fight, this flow, while at the same time engaging clarity and mastery of technical concerns.
Emotion and communication must move without the performer becoming overwhelmed or over-tense - so that in the moment of expression and empathy, one’s instrument fully supports their intentions. Often when performers find emotional connection they simultaneously choke their sound, hold their breath, and limit their movement versatility — diminishing the power and magic of the moment. We then experience the artist’s tension — instead of the integrity of their connection to the work and fellow performers. This interference doesn’t happen by choice. It usually happens because emotional connection has become habitually associated with over-tension. Conversely, over-relaxation can become confused with freedom — leaving the performer without sufficient dynamic range and intensity.
Heightened awareness and skillful technique facilitate an experiential knowledge of how body and mind coordinate, inviting one’s art to come through. This finely tuned integration of mind and body is the focus of Judith’s long career working with performing artists.
"As you work you must remember that you are not a machine, and that you need to find out exactly how each shift in your body affects your inner being...the smallest physical changes evoke distinct inner sensations."
- Yoshi Oida, actor, teacher, writer
"We don't rise to the level of our expectations; we fall to the level of our training."
-Archilochus, Greek lyric poet, Archaic period