Sunday, April 03, 2005


In the last month or so, I have a attended a variety of theatre workshops ranging from body movement to voice training to several readings of the play, evam Indrajit. However, I think the most interesting of these has been the mime exercises. Its a simple enough concept when you think about it, however the execution was not as easy as I thought it would be. The first mime exercise we did was when we were asked to carry out a sequence of activities that we did at home that day, in mime. What this meant was that I was supposed to be oblivious to the presence of the 15 people watching me and walk through some daily activity of mine. It could be as simple as brushing my teeth or taking a shower. I realized as to how difficult it was to shake away the idea in my head that there are people around me, watching. It was interesting also in the sense that when there were people who performed this exercise in complete isolation of their audience, it became a pleasure to watch them, even if it was as banal as them getting up and choosing what to wear.

The next exercise was one in which we were divided into sets of 4-5 and one person from a set came up and was asked to mime something written on a paper, in the sense that they were supposed to show the activity and not the words on the paper. It made me realize that how a simple act of somebody stopping his cycle, getting off and throwing something made my mind correlate it to a newspaper boy. It was an excellent exercise in exploring the patterns that our brain forms over a period of time. How a simple action can make us see the activity in its entirety.

Next was an exercise in which each person was given an activity and as he/she performs that activity, the others in his set, look and identify what he is doing and then join him in the activity. It was a brilliant exercise of team cognition in which, lets say a person got volley ball, then as he showed a player serving, the others in his set rose and took position as other players, the net and the referee.

Its been a very interesting last month attending these workshops because its made me realize what attention to detail can do to an absolutely trivial situation and the metamorphosis has to be seen to be believed.


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