Our Roots

How we got to where we are

We realised that No plays were the perfect vehicle to concentrate actors attention on the richness of their inner life as the source of creative inspiration. These short powerful stories provided an extraordinary opportunity to root the external actions of the character in an experience of the fundamental changes that happen within. We knew that we could not approach them from the point of view of the highly elaborated style which had accrued around them in the No Theatre itself. We were required to explore their inner movement, the deep underlying 'cause-and-effect' structure which lay at their core.

This reinvigorated our sense of what Zeami himself was saying in his treatise and our own preoccupation that the way to outer expression had to be based on the activation of the inner space of the actor. This process relied on a development of a sense of the fertile emptiness of this space. This idea related very strongly to ideas about restraint in meditation and of the removal of compulsion in the Alexander Technique which was achieved by stopping and "saying no" to our habitual reactions and responses.

We invented our course and gave it a playful title: THE NO(H) SPACE and we tried to launch it independently. We were then asked to run a six-day course over four weekends at The Actors Centre in London. We successfully ran the course twice in 2001 and 2002.

We then decided to extend the course to incorporate work on other classic texts such as Shakespeare and Chekov further exploring the relevance of Inner life and the precepts of Zeami to the work of the modern actor. We have changed the name of our short course to clarify its focus on creativity. It is now called AWAKENING INNER LIFE.

   
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