By Ira Seidenstein

April 22, 2013


3 of 40 Sunday April 21 – 2013. Dublin. Had great day meeting with olde acquaintance and friend Dave Spathaky. Just recieved fakebook msg from long lost childhood friend. I am sure he could have a long list of my (and his) youthful clown antics. For sure, by the time I was five, I was known as a clown.
I was asked today if there is any relation between my “Core Mechanics” and “Biomechanics” of Meyerhold. Certainly with certainty. When I was at Dell’arte – a startup school – at that time – I discovered the joy of used bookstores. I began to pour through a large variety of books on theatre, yoga, metaphysics, health, philosophy, psychology, and occasional novels such as those of Herman Hesse.
I read the … hold on…. fakebook msg from Dave…
ok
So I read Meyerhold On Theatre by Edward Braun. I whisked through it. But I was inspired by that (and many influences in my life and private study) and thought I can’t study Biomechanics as I was studying at Dell’arte and also at that time the Soviet empire was still at its prime and Biomechanics had not left the Soviet realms. So, I had already started to analysise the mechanics of movement my own way each morning before school. I was in the studio on my own from 7am to 9am. I was piecing together the basic mechanics of human movement techniques. The most simple analysis such as: should the knee/leg be straight or bent for a particular action such as a dive roll; should the elbow be straight or bent for a front handspring. I went to the HSU library and found three obscure books on ‘acrobatics’. They had not been borrowed in at least a decade. One was likely from the 1920s on handstands, one was a book on tumbling and had hundreds of stick-figure drawings, and the third was newer and was on gymnastics. So with those books I begin a moderate yet earnest study and training on my own. After six months Carlo asked me to be the physical trainer for the professional summer repetory theatre of two groups of actors with each group rehearsing 2 plays. I also looked at one of the photos in the Braun book of one actor standing on the thigh of another. I had a different view of that and also analysised their posture by using The Alexander Technique information that our teacher Joan Schirle taught. So I found a way of doing the same trick less as a performance aesthetic and more mechanically neutral. As per Alexander’s principles, ‘better use’, ‘no effort’ and less muscular engagement. Eventually I made the complete ten most basic core movements into a clear logical progressive series choreographed using hundreds of counts and dozens of details.
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