Slow down (you’re moving too fast)

posted in: Teaching in Lesvos | 0
Student’s artwork in Gekko Kids foyer

Lesson again today, though it was a little touch and go: Irene informed me that no kids from the Safe Zone at Moria would be coming today.  Maybe the class would not run.  However, there was a small but committed group of about ten kids, all living in safe houses in Mytilini, looked after by the Greek teachers at the school.

We focused on the small but fun technique of slow motion, one more aspect of physical theatre.  I have taught this a hundred times, and it always takes a while to overcome certain aspects: moving too fast, really working their facial expressions, and the perennial challenge of walking with right arm and left leg (and vice versa) in sync, rather than looking like Spotty Dog from the Woodentops.  (If that reference means anything to you, you are showing your age.)

They were very fast learners, and were quickly producing sharp, imaginative, very funny scenes.  No–one was scared of performing, and there were touches of detail, too: a raised eyebrow (less is more), and real physicality, including from the three girls in the group.

Talking of whom (and I know I should not get too excited too soon), two of them may well be the two leads in the Chalk Circle play: Grusha the heroine, and her rival (Natella Abashvili in the original, re-named the Queen in my version.)  The iconic image of the play is the two of them struggling to pull a small child out of the Circle, and they would be great.  But let’s see.

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