mime corporel meets mimactiv • Oliver-style
mimactiv is the (agreed: silly) term I use to label my conglomeration of exercises, methods and games, invented and collected over my 20+ years of experience in teaching, coaching and directing physical theatre.
My base is Etienne Decroux' legendary ‘mime corporel dramatique’, which I learnt in 5 intensive years in London with Corinne Soum and Steve Wasson, the last assistants to the master. This is where I come from. And this is my jumping board.
And when it comes to precision in execution of movement, rhythmically distinct mastery in skillfully and beautifully crafted plasticity, - down to endurance and a very focused presence on stage - I have not come across any other technique or method that powerful. Which makes mcd a versatile base and tool for anyone on stage regardless the chosen artform. And for some their preferred performing style. Decroux' approach in getting there is a formal one, coming from the outside and the doing.
As he says: ‘c'est le corps qui souffre!’ ( = ‘it's the body, that suffers.’ ).
I enjoy this less psychological approach, and it's idea, that it's the physical presence and it's muscular effort, that is essential. The motion that conveys emotion to an audience. However, tempted to give the strict ‘doctrine’ a bit more punch and punk, I started messing around with it. Building upon mcd's tremendous focus on space, plasticity in shape and exquisite accentuation, I try to let loose. In play, in chaos. Taking resources from the stamina, mcd gives. For exploration and exhaustion.
In some aspects, it's a more dancy approach, stimulating inner melodies more than choreography. Outwards impulsivity. Concentration to meditation. In other ways, it also aims at experimenting with various settings, maybe a technical challenges, a fomal task, maybe dramatic set-up or a psychological correlation. It is a never-ending (re)search into means and ways how to get to expressions that defy the ordinary and habitual, that surpass the compfort zone, that confronts the unknown.
All this refined thru technique. In a way expanding from the holy church into open space. Yet always having the grounds laid in rock-solid good-old Decroux-mime.
And so, over the years we have established our own universe and given it terms - equally lyrical as Decroux terminology like ‘mousse-au-chocolat’, ‘Schweinchen im Weltall’, ‘pouf de l'âme’, ‘Einschlafgrübchen’, ‘Heiterkeit im Gemüt’, ‘smile in the back of the throat’, ‘Beckenblüte’, ‘don't throw away the shoping’, ‘Frida Kahlo’, ‘Planetenschwung’ to name just a few. more here.