Since the 1990’s when I was teaching for Australian Theatre for Young People, Sidetrack Theatre, and directing world choir Voices From The Vacant Lot, I developed a vocal teaching practice called The Singing Body.
The Singing body draws from the work of some of my teachers:
Yoshi Oida (Peter Brooke Company)
Zigmund Molik (Jerzy Grotowski Laboratorium)
Janice Slater ( Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen)
Linda Wise (Pan Theatre)
and chance meetings, times of learning with Hukwe Zawose, Sipiwo from the ANC choirs, Gemma Badiola, Laksmi Raman, Won Small Bag Theatre, The musicians of Kunbarllanjnja Western Arnhem land, and many many other musicians and singers from Aotearoa, Russia, Georgia, USA, Ghana, Chile, Croatia, Greece, Sudan, Iran, Lebanon, India, France and all over Australia.
The central idea of the singing body is that we as a species evolved to communicate, imitate and celebrate using a combination of our vocal and physical expressions. The links between the way we move, the way we breathe, the way we sing, speak , eat and communicate with the world are multiple, ancient and universal.
I was taught a swag of energy directing exercises from esoteric Buddhism, No Theatre and Shinto, by Yoshi Oida., Phillippe Gaulier showed me the importance of play, Zigmundt Molik – the extension of the voice out of the body by movement. So I’m continuing this exploration of energy, physicality, and play through the individual and group work that I teach.
The physical , energetic and dynamic voice is explored through the lens of a world cultural view. Over the decades, I have tried to gather a broad understanding of the many ways the human being can use voice. We do have the need to communicate, to cajole, to convince, to complain, to contemplate and celebrate in common. But from the herdsmen of Mongolia, to the blues singers of Louisiana, from the polyphony of the Georgian mountains, to the harmonies of the Pacific Islands we as a species have evolved a thousand ways to use our voices. I don’t have a single answer, or technique or style to offer. The Singing Body offers a pathway to explore sound safely and come to a powerful and dynamic ownership of our own voices.
I like to work in groups, because we learn from each other by listening. I like to uncover the particular cultural sounds and expressions that can unlock movement and vocalizations in a group of diverse backgrounds. The Singingbody work borrows songs from the people I have met along the way of my musical journey. I have met most of them in Australia and feel blessed to have the migrant and refugee friends who have taught me so much.
The first Singbody Workshop in a decade will take place in Hobart on the 29th and 30th of October 2016.
SATURDAY- SUNDAY 29th and 30th OCTOBER
10 am – 4pm both Days
Kickstart Arts Centre St Johns Park Newtown