Sunday, October 01, 2006

well, it wasn't shakespeare camp, but...

Hello All!
I spent Friday, Saturday, and today at the annual NYSTEA (New York State Theatre Educators Association) conference at NYU. It was really great, and so much of what we learned this summer came rushing back to me in the most wonderful way.
On Friday morning (after an enlightening and hilarious tour of Greenwich Village) I took a workshop on Rasaboxes. I enjoyed it so much that I stayed for Rasaboxes 2 in the afternoon. Anyway, the Rasa is about bypassing the West's tendency to intellectualize everything and accessing emotion directly through physical experience and breath, using Eastern philosophy and vocabulary. The use of Sanskrit terminology for the 8 emotional states of being and the concentration on breathing and physicality resonated very strongly with my yoga practice (it's all connected...I could go on an on). The focus on breath as a medium for emotional communication between performer and audience (aren't we all Eolian Harps after all?) was pretty enlightening. Most significantly, though, this showed me a completely new way for students to discuss, access, and control their emotions through multiple-intelligences-friendly student-centered exploration. Using the Sanskrit terms, which were a little difficult to grasp at first, was genius to me because it completely prevents participants from judging the emotion they are experiencing by the culturally ingrained standards of good and bad.
I was excited to share this with you all because, as you probably recall, I am not an indiscriminately zealous participant in theatre exercises. Skeptical as I may be at times, the experience I had using the Rasaboxes was so intense and genuine. I actually found it really empowering, too, and am so excited about bringing that to my students as well. I will definitely be using them in my class. I will post more info if anyone is interested, and I might even get in touch with the clinician to see if she can send some links to her work or a workshop schedule that I can post (she travels all over--or, if she's in NY again, you could come stay with me!!).

I hope you are all well--namaste :)


At 8:00 AM, Blogger Shakespeare Teacher said...

I would really love to hear more about what you learned, especially if you think it will allow the students to connect with their emotions. The students have a hard time "letting go" of their inhibitions. It would be great if you could tell us more?

At 8:16 AM, Blogger Christine said...


Sounds great! Please post more info.


At 9:06 PM, Blogger Jessica said...

Christine, Mel-- I will photocopy the info I got and put it in the mail for you this weekend :)

At 6:48 PM, Blogger kv said...

me too! me too!

At 8:56 AM, Blogger Jessica said...

of course, kim!

At 8:08 AM, Blogger Shakespeare Teacher said...

Thank you!



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