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Jennifer Mizenko at IUGTE Conference 2019
Laban and Chekhov: The connection and the support
A practical/physical workshop by Jennifer Mizenko - Professor of Dance and Movement for the Actor at the University of Mississippi. (Mississippi, USA).

Jennifer Mizenko is a Professor of Dance and Movement for the Actor at the University of Mississippi. She has a B.A. in Psychology, and an M.A. in dance. She studied period dance with Wendy Hilton and Richard Powers, T'ai Chi with Maggie Newman, the work of Growtoski with Grzegorz Bral in Poland and Anna-Helena McLean, of the Moon Fool Company, and Chekhov acting technique with MICHA. Jennifer is a teaching member of Alexander Technique International, and served as Chair of ATI. She is a Laban Movement Analyst certified by LIMS, and yoga instructor from Yandara Yoga Institute. She has presented internationally at Laban and Alexander conferences and specializes in teaching Character Physicalization, integrating her knowledge of dance, LMA, Chekhov and the Alexander Technique. Jennifer is one of the co-authors of the The Laban Workbook for Actors, A Practical Guide with Video.


The relationship between the theories and ideas of Rudolph Laban and Michael Chekhov is very close. Michael Chekhov and Laban were in residence (at least for a short while) at Dartington Hall in Devon England during WWII, and that Lisa Ullman (Laban’s assistant) was Chekhov’s movement teacher. Although we don’t know if the men actually sat down and exchanged ideas, it is clear that they were thinking the same way. 

The presentation I am proposing focuses on the Chekhov concepts of Psychological Gesture (PG), Qualities and Imaginary body, and Laban’s theories of Shape (Still & Moving), Developmental Movement and Effort (Quality). During the workshop the participants will have a practical experience of applying the Laban theories, as support and/or architecture for Chekhov’s practical applications of PG, Quality and Imaginary Body. By the end of the workshop, the participants will create an authentic physicality of a character that is connected to psychology and the given circumstances.
This workshop fulfills the vision of IUGTE, in that it takes a long-established acting tradition, an applies a contemporary spin to it, deepening the tools for the actor’s creative process. 

Additionally, this workshop provides a revision and reconstruction of the work of Chekhov and Laban, enriching and enhancing each body of knowledge.


Organized by IUGTE in collaboration with "ArtUniverse" and New International Performing Arts Institute