From Intelligent Practice to Powerful Performance
The Alexander Technique is taught in hundreds of Performing Arts colleges and schools worldwide. Many well-known performers in all the performing arts worlds think of the Alexander Technique as at the heart of their practice and performance, and fundamental to their artistic craft.
Many performing artists never reach their full potential due to a lack of awareness of the habits that are holding them back. These habits interfere with a multitude of areas important for performance, such as good coordination, kinaesthetic sense, voice production, communication and stage presence. Habits can also cause anxiety or physical pain, and can lead to artists finding the pressure of performance overwhelming.
The Alexander Technique provides solutions to these issues, and grew out of its founder FM Alexander’s own experience as an actor. It was by exploring how to tackle and approach performance problems that Alexander developed his Technique which now holds a unique place in Performing Arts education.
Alexander realized that how you use your mind and body determines the quality of your performance. Performing artists can therefore use the Alexander Technique as the basis of a good working practice which helps them to recognize and deal with the habits which are limiting their potential. It means they can build their skills intelligently and so go on to optimize their performance potential.
Alexander lessons help students be in touch with themselves in a reliable way so that they can:
- Move intelligently
- Think clearly and constructively
- Find their best coordination and balance
- Be in charge of their reactions and emotions
- Optimize their imagination and creativity
- Connect more authentically
Some examples of well-known performing artists who have had Alexander Technique lessons include Julie Andrews, Pierce Brosnan, John Cleese, Benedict Cumberbatch, Jamie Lee Curtis, Judi Dench, Richard Gere, Lennie Henry, William Hurt, Jeremy Irons, Hugh Jackman, Lulu, Joanna Lumley, Madonna, Paul McCartney, Keanu Reeves, Jennifer Saunders, Sting, Ruby Wax and Robin Williams.
The poise and connection performing artists find with Alexander lessons is well known to be invaluable.
It is becoming more recognized that the earlier performing artists can connect to this work the more valuable it can be, because they can change how they learn and improve.
Performing artists can learn to eliminate pain or discomfort, find a reliable connection to themselves in practice and performance, and gain a self-confidence they can take into both artistic performance and their lives in general.