Action theater: the improvisation of presence (ruth zaporah)

Action Theater: The Improvisation of Presence

By Ruth Zaporah

In Action Theater you will experience what it is like to study with Ruth Zaporah, inspired teacher, and exhilarating, witty, and insightful performer. This captivating examination of the mind, heart, and body of improvisation reveals the magic that has drawn people from around the world to study with this master of the form.
– Anna Halprin, dancer and author of Moving Towards Life:Five Decades of Transformative Dance

I have never forgotten the impact of Ruth Zaporah in performance. How wonderful that she is sharing her art beyond her students, to enrich us with her knowledge, insights, method, and experience.
– Rachel Rosenthal, performance soloist Ruth Zaporah is a light in my life. We all improvise our lives, But Ruth knows how to enter a stage without any preconceived plan and then astonish and delight an audience, as if pulling magic out of air. She also knows how to inspire others to conjure up moment to moment magic, and here she shares ideas that have made her such a beloved performer and teacher.
– Remy Charlip, writer, dancer, choreographer
This book is a great new source of simple and joyful exercises in discovering the boundless opportunities of living in a human body.
– Reb Anderson, former Abbot, Senior Dharma Teacher,
San Francisco Zen Center

Acknowledgements 6
Foreword 7
Introduction 9
Day One 11
Form/Content 11
1A. On/Off Clothes 11
IB. Walk/Run/Freeze to Freeze in Same Scene 12
1C. Move Same Time/Freeze Same Time 13
ID. Move at Different Times 13
IE. Performance Score: Autobiographies 14
Day Two 15
The Body’s Voice 15
2A. Breath Circle 15
2B. Sounder/Mover 16
2C. All at Once: Sound and Movement 17
2D. Sound and Movement Dialogue 17
2E. Performance Score: Sound and Movement Solo 18

Three 19
A Way to Proceed:Body, Imagination, Memory 19
3A. Falling Leaves with Movement, Sound and Dialogue 20
3B. Shape Alphabet 21
3C. Shape/Shape/Reshape 22
3D. Director/Actor: Shift with Movement, Sound and Language 22
3E. Performance Score: Two Up/Two Down 23
Day Four 25
Composition 25
4A. Lay/Sit/Stand 25
4B. Walk on Whispered “Ah” 26
4C. Focus In/Eyes Out 26
4D. Mirroring 27
4E. Accumulation, One Leader 28
4F. Performance Score: Accumulation, All Leading 30
Day Five 32
Inner/Outer 32
5A. Eyes Closed 32
5B. Jog Patterns 34
5C. Only Verbs 34
5D. Say What You Do 35
5E. Performance Score: Say What You Do, Together 36
5F. Performance Score: Bench: Head, Arm, Leg 36
Day Six 37
Pretend to Pretend 37
6A. Hard Lines/Soft Curves 37
6B. “Ahs” and “Ooohs” 38
6C. Empty Vessel 39
6D. Solo Shifts 41
6E. Performance Score: Back to Front, Silent 42
Day Seven 43
The Body of Language 43
7A. Body Parts Move on Out-Breath I 43
7B. Narrative on Beat 44
7C. Narrative with Varied Timing 45
7D. Language and Movement/Interruption 46
7E. Performance Score: Seated Dialogues 47
Day Eight 49
Transformation 49
8A. One Sounder, All Move 49
8B. Facings and Placings 50
8C. Transform Content, Movement Only 51
8D. Transform Content, Sound and Movement 52
8E. Transform Content, Phrase and Gesture 52
8F. Performance Score: One-Upping 53
Day Nine 54
Imagination 54
9A. Body Parts Lead 54
9B. Non-Stop Talk 55
9C. Shape/Freeze/Language 56
9D. Two Shape /One Reads 56
9E. Two Shape/One Bumps and Talks 57
9F. Questioner/Narrator 58
9G. Performance Score: Five Chairs 58
Day Ten 60
The Watcher and the Watched 60
10A. Follow the Leader, Calling Names 60
10B. Pebbles in the Pond 61

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Action theater: the improvisation of presence (ruth zaporah)