Mind and Body

by RoxyRegionalTheatre on March 1, 2011

The work attributed to Shakespeare is some of the most enduring in all the theatrical cannon. The language is poetic and subtle, and while of a different time, still important language today. Sometimes it can be hard to understand at first, but it is worth figuring it out. And, so many words and phrases we still use came originally from a play by Shakespeare – and many of the most well-known lines in literature come from within “Hamlet.” I think the relationships and stories Shakespeare wrote about are the same today as they were in the time they were written.

We started rehearsals for Hamlet, and I am excited for this process. I have studied it a lot, and did some Shakespeare in school, but not since. I play Guildenstern and Osric in the play. These aren’t the biggest roles, but I am excited to take them on. I also am helping John with the play within the play in “Hamlet.” Several of the children from Saturday Class are involved and I can’t wait to work on it with them as well.

Speaking of class and Saturday, my dance class on Saturdays from 12:00 to 1:30 pm is still going strong. Some of the young dancers are also doing extra work outside class, and taking on a choreography project. They pick a famous musical theatre choreographer or dance musical, and choreograph a dance that embodies that specific style. This past Saturday was the first presentation, and Amy Weir did an excellent job embodying Fosse’s style and teaching the class. I was a very proud teacher. There are so many ways a young performer can learn and grow. He or she can learn technique, practicing and using repetition to increase their skills. They can also learn from experience; there is so much to be said about learning by doing – getting up there and experimenting and trying. But I think we often forget a third way of learning; sometimes one of the best ways to learn and grow is to teach others, and I think this is certainly true in the arts. I love to have my dance students take turns teaching each other a dance combination. It strengthens them and their peers as well.

Exercising the mind and body is so important to performers; but I think it should be to every person as well. I have made it my goal to do better about that, and have found the time to start going to the gym again, and have been taking yoga class weekly. Yoga is something I fell in love with in New York City. It is a combination of exercise and relaxation that encompasses not only the body, but the mind. But for me at least, it goes one step further and also exercises and relaxes the spirit. By both exertion and relaxation, yoga has a way of centering my whole self. It takes away unnecessary stresses, both physical and mental, and builds a strong foundation, both bodily and in the mind. As you can see, I’m a big fan of yoga. So, I urge you – especially if you have never taking a yoga class before – to try one. I take Susan Bryant’s class at the Roxy every Tuesday evening from 5:30 to 6:30 pm; I hope to see you there!

Previous post:

Next post: