Biomechanics of V. Meyerhold for Contemporary Theatre
amateur and professional actors, directors,
specialists in actor training, choreographers, drama teachers, researchers,
the form of training workshop with discussions, lectures
and video presentations.
Vsevolod Meyerhold (1874-1940) was a famous Russian director, actor,
reformer of stage art. His creative work has a huge influence upon the
theatre all over the world. At the beginning of the 20th century he
created the unique technique – “biomechanics”, devoted to teaching
the art of form and dramatic expression.
Biomechanics was founded by Meyerhold
as a system for actor preparation and was originally a synthesis of
gymnastics, acrobatic tricks, which allows the actor consciously and
expediently control the mechanism of his movements and energy.
Biomechanics acts through bodily form in order to stimulate emotions.
Biomechanics was also the effective
pedagogical method for:
the skill of expressive movement: to improve awareness of tension-
relaxation; to subordinate
movements to rhythm; to shift the balance; to fix positions –
foreshortening (which Meyerhold called “raccoursi”);
kinesthetic vision (which Meyerhold called “mirrorizing”);
with objects (sticks, balls);
within a group and controlling disposition in space;
out the orders of director as quickly and correctly as possible.
Biomechanics, in the
project authors’ opinion, is instrument for discover the fundamental
laws of the Acting in contemporary theatre.
The uniqueness of the project. We learn the laws of Actor skill - as they were devised by
Meyerhold - through practical exercises and the analysis the structures
and the plots of the “classical” biomechanics etudes.
We reveal the code of scenic language which
Meyerhold called ‘grotesque” in order to create artificial reality on
the stage. Experiments and improvisation with biomechanical movements (as
a letters of this scenic language) allow us to develop montage-composite
way of thinking and to find the new meanings in the combinations of
concrete elements of form: temp, rhythm, foreshortening (raccoursi), an
arrangement in space, quality of movement.
This approach moves from separate movements to complicated etudes in
order to learn Biomechanics in a short space of time.
Basic skill in joggling
Elementary movement: standing,
walking, running, falling;
To learn biomechanical etudes
“Throwing the Stone”; “Shooting with Bow and Arrow ”;
“Stab with the Dagger”; “Slap on the Face”;
To develop the ability to
analyze, synthesize and construct new compositions from segments of
To explore the principals of
Eisenstein’s montage in Biomechanics:
To use practical skills in
working with texts (for example, from “Macbeth” by W. Shakespeare);
To study the history and
theory of Meyerhold’s Method.
course: 4-12 days (4-8 hours per day)
includes daily physical and voice training, improvisations,
photo- and video presentations and lecture “Biomechanics and
the Meyerhold’s Method. “Stanislavsky’s system” and
The main principals of
Problems of voice training in
Biomechanical etude as a
How we could use Biomechanics
in practical work on role and performance in contemporary theatre.
All exercises are
based on natural, organic movements and require no special gymnastic
preparation or equipment.
Sakaev Iscander – M. A., director, Russian State Academic Theatre “Aleksandrinsky”; trainer of Biomechanics.
Elena – M.A., teacher of Acting, Saint-Petersburg State
Academy of Theatre Arts; actor trainer, Russian State Academic Theatre
contacts: Tel.: +7 (812) 316-24-28
+7 921 638 67 49 (mobile)