FOUNDATIONS, the name of the first year of the new Performing Arts International training course in the arts of acting and speaking began its life in January 2018 at Peredur Centre for the Arts with a five-day introduction or taster of the work. 
This course had the same length and structure as all the following modules – six hours of tuition a day, exercises in the morning followed by application to various texts in the afternoon - and aimed to introduce the specific nature of the English language to anyone curious about the training. 
 
The five modules that followed guided the participants enrolled for the year to the performance on January 6, 2019, which was reviewed in the last newsletter. The modules addressed a variety of aspects that intended to illuminate how different, how much more comprehensive and effective, the approach developed by Rudolf and Marie Steiner about 100 years ago is to what is otherwise taught in these fields. Each module was built on movement, to help participants sense the immediate relationship between moving and speaking. 
 
The first module of the training proper – which took place in March 2018 – looked at the question of how to consciously integrate not just the body and soul but also the spirit into creative performing work; in particular, the participants explored what it might mean to work with awareness of the spirit, or of what the Russian actor and anthroposophist Michael Chekhov called the creative individuality. 
The second, third and fourth modules, which took place in May, August and October 2018, gave focus to each of the three aspects of the human soul, thinking, feeling and will: Rudolf Steiner made clear that in the performing and literary arts these are expressed in three different ways: as epic or the story, as the dramatic or the play, and as lyric or poetry. 
 
The varied nature of the material ensured that each module had a clear individual character and was aimed at awakening in the participants a sense of the depth and breadth of each of the three realms. The work included the following themes: 
the four qualities of movement 
the feeling of the whole (line, poem, story, etc) 
measure or metre 
gestures 
atmospheres 
consonants and vowels 
and many other topics. 
 
Each module had its supporting subject, such as eurythmy, music and singing, sculpture and gymnastics, which were taught by a remarkably skilled and supportive faculty, consisting of Maria Albiez, Sigune Brinch, Gregers Brinch and Arthur Dyer. Read more about our faculty of staff
 
Much of the performance was created by the five FOUNDATIONS participants themselves: the afternoon could be called a sharing of their favourite poems, which were indeed full of variety! Individual tuition or tuition in pairs underpinned the work of the modules and enabled the participants to gradually develop their own practice prior to the start of the final module. These five have been able to participate in the five modules or demonstrate equivalent experience and then commit to completing this first year. They have come from Australia, Rumania, the Philippines and various parts of the British Isles. 
 
The second year, which started in early April and is called THE EPIC YEAR, will focus on all aspects of story, returning to the beginnings of structured and crafted language with Homer and Aesop, for example, as well as deepening the experience of the sounds of speech as the creative forces that have fashioned the world. 
 
If you are interested in joining all or any of the modules of the new first year, starting in mid-2019, just for the pleasure of exploring speech and movement, do please call me on 01342-824261 or 07772-091429, or email me at info@performingartsintl.org. For 2019-20 at least, the first year will remain open to all comers. 
 
This article was first published in the ASinGB newsletter. 
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