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A round of rhythm and movement

The actors form a circle. One of them goes into the middle and makes any kind of movement, as strange or unusual as they like, accompanied by a sound and in a rhythm of their own invention. All the others imitate them, trying to reproduce exactly their movements and sounds, in time with them. Then, still making their movement and sound, this leader approaches and stands opposite someone in the circle, challenging them to take their place; this person goes into the middle and slowly changes the movement, the rhythm and the sound in any way they like. Everyone follows this second leader, who then challenges a third person, and so on. The person who goes into the middle can create any rhythm of the body and sound they like, as long as it isn’t something they do in their daily life. There must be no fear of the ridiculous, the grotesque, or the strange. If everybody is ridiculous, no one is!

Everyone else must try to reproduce everything they see and hear as precisely as they can – the same movements, the same voice, the same rhythm. . . . If it is a woman who is in the middle, the men in the circle must try not to produce a ‘masculine’ version of the movement but to reproduce exactly what they have perceived, and vice versa.

What is happening here? What mechanism? Simple – in the act of trying to reproduce someone else’s way of moving, singing, etc., we begin to undo our own mechanization. By our reproduction, we are usefully relaying to that person our vision of them, but more importantly, we are working to restructure our own way of being in many different fashions (since many actors will go into the middle). We do not do a caricature because though that would lead us to do different things, we would be doing them in the same way (our own). We try to understand and make an exact copy of the exterior of the person in the middle in order to gain a better sense of their interior.

Method Details

Learning Space
In Person Training
5-10 minutes
Group Size & Age
Created by
Augusto Boal

This method addresses

Added by

Okan Yahsi

Member since 2 years ago
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