Stanislavsky on Voice and Movement

Contexts, concepts, and content

Authored by: Lissa Tyler Renaud

The Routledge Companion to Stanislavsky

Print publication date:  October  2013
Online publication date:  October  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415535649
eBook ISBN: 9780203112304
Adobe ISBN: 9781136281853


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One characteristic that gives Stanislavsky's work its contemporary feel is its eclecticism; it is significant that Stanislavsky's autobiography is not entitled My Life in Theatre, but My Life in Art. That Stanislavsky's writings came to serve as a strict template for actor training is ironic: his own work was characterized by a broad, restless, hyper-inclusive inquiry into any concept or skill remotely applicable to the stage arts. He repeatedly distanced himself from a fixed “system”: in his final opera studio he included no teachers trained in his famous approach; more than once he said that descriptions of his teaching as prescriptive were “boring,” or “lies”; he died declaring that among the many who considered themselves his followers, none could carry on his teaching. Indeed, one of the most serious ways his training has been distorted has been by making it narrow in scope: his explorations were informed not only by a wide range of artists who came before him, but also by cutting-edge developments in set design, music, painting, poetry, as well as by the “new education” movement of his day.

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