Teaching artist Ilgaz Ulusoy Casey spent two days with Laura Brayko’s advanced drama class this week. The class had been researching movement styles, and a few students presented on the Laban/Bartenieff theory, which just happens to be Ilgaz’s specialty.
The Laban theory focuses on four major components of movement: weight, speed, direction and flow. Ilgaz worked with students to explore these elements, “does your character move with direct or indirect movement? Are they light or strong? Is the movement quick or sustained?”
One student observed, “After yesterday’s class I realized that I’m almost never direct in my daily life-I’m always moving in indirect motions.”
Students used these qualities of movement to develop a physical character, and then began to improvise with voice. Ilgaz encouraged them to observe their classmates, and examine when something was funny–why did that specific combination of choices result in humor?
“I haven’t had that much fun in a long time.” (a young man leaving the stage)