[6] Re-telling the story of Macbeth

What We Did

-An Introductory lesson to the ‘7 levels of tension’

What I reaseached

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1) Jacques Lecoq

Everything moves.

Everything develops and progresses. Everything rebounds and resonates.

From one point to another, the line is never straight.

From harbour to harbour, a journey. Everything moves… as do I!

Joy and sorrow, confrontation too.

A vague point appears, hazy and confused,

A point of convergence,

The temptation of a fixed point,

In the calm of all the passions.

Point of departure and point of destination,

In what has neither beginning or end. Naming it, endowing it with life, giving it authority

For a better understanding of what Movement is.

Jacques Lecoq. August 1997

“There is a huge difference between actors who express their own lives, and those who can truly be described as players…They have learned not to play themselves but to play using themselves. In this lies all the ambiguity of the actor’s work.”

Jacques Lecoq

Jacques Lecoq is acclaimed as one of the twentieth century’s most pioneering instructor as well as actor. Born in Paris, Lecoq participated in various sports in his childhood and adolescence, which ultimately inspired him to devise theatrical yet physical training, including 7 levels of tension. His international teaching resume had a great influence not only on his own prowess but also on the development of contemporary theatre. His exposure to various theatre company and their teaching styles became a touchstone to allow him to incorporate the elements from the different companies and create new way of training actors. (The Academy).

Lecoq works on the premise that: “A true understanding and knowledge of theatre inevitably requires a profound experience of play”. He regarded his teaching as ‘a path to his own greater knowledge and understanding of movement‘. His work with students, helped him to discover that ‘the body knows things about which the mind is ignorant‘ . For example, Masked work could ‘amplify the physical aspects of a actor’ and facilitate communication with the audience.

His Background

  • World War II has led him to begin exploring gymnastics, mime, movement and dance to express opposition.
  • After the war, Lecoq was introduced to masked performance and Japanese Noh theatre.
  • He spent eight years in Italy teaching and working as a creative practitioner and discovered the traditional and popular Italian theatre style of commedia dell’arte as well as the tradition of masked chorus work developed in Ancient Greek tragedy.
  • He returned to Paris in 1956 and opened his own school, the Ecole Internationale de Mime et de Theatre which  has continued to attract large numbers of students from all over the world.

2) 7 levels of tension

The training is said to be very practical, physical and very specific for each student. This is due to Lecoq’s belief that ‘every actor’s body and mind has accumulated different tensions and conditioned responses’. Therefore, Lecoq’s training ethos puts a great emphasis on releasing energy.

  1. Catatonic :
    • Jellyfish
    • Energy is soaked by the ground.
    • No Movement
    • No tension
    • Do not generate power
  2. Californian
    • Half wake up
    • Picking a cup of milk from a fridge
    • Drink it
    • The one in which I feel most confident !
  3. Neutral
    • Act as if you are a stranger in other countries
    • Pedestrian walk
  4. Alert
    • More powerful then the tension 3
  5. Suspense
    • Walk/Run Faster
  6. Opera
    • Your body is almost our of control due to an increasing amount of your happiness, fear,joy, hilarity or despair
  7. Bomb
    • Unable to move, but ahs to generate massive about of energy from inside you body and core


What I Felt

I felt peculiar, bizarre at first.  However, the 7 levels of tension training has enabled me to display various tensions and energy.. And the use of all levels will function useful to our performance.





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