Not many may have heard about Michael Chekov. But for a small gathering of theatre enthusiasts, it was an evening to remember, hearing the acclaimed theatre director and acting trainer David Zinder on the Russian-American theatre practitioner Chekov.
At a talk organised by theatre group Samahaara in association with Increment Language Solutions, Dr. Zinder was here to talk on body-voice imagination, on which he has authored a path-breaking volume.
Imagining with body
In the Chekov method of acting, he said, the actor imagines with his body. “He cannot avoid responding, gesturing, moving to their mind's own images. These images influence your movement.”
Unlike the more popular Lee Strasbourg school of acting, which emphasises on actors taking a cue from their personal experience to emote, the Chekov school of acting dwells on actors using their body and imagination.
“I am not saying the American method of acting is not effective. It is effective for certain kinds of theatre. But it is limited,” Dr. Zinder told his audience Saturday.
It is based on the principles of moving, flowing, flying and radiation, which Dr. Zinder said inspire an actor to emote in a particular way depending on the scene. Several actors such as Clint Eastwood, Marilyn Monroe, to name some, have picked up Chekov's acting techniques.