Tsunamic Spirit – A Letter (Meyerhold, Training, Creativity, Passion)
Biomechanics, what is now erroneous seen as Meyerhold´s main legacy by some, was only a small part of Meyerholds research and it is was not even mandatory to his actors at particular times and in many moments. He himself was much more involved in a constant developing of new forms for the stage that covered almost any possible style of acting and staging. Basically Biomechanics served as the launching of the revolutionary period of his operarian art in Mystere Buffe, where the biomechanical Etudes are indeed used in acting if not totally in parts. Meyerhold was searching for the vital elán of imagination in delirious, the poetical rendering of expression, which has nothing to do with a bunch of guys "throwing the stone" and memorizing the three moments of action. Same as when one learns Stanislavsky by a bible reaction to his books and starts discussing with vanity the laws of acting and the components of the system as a supposedly scientifical and independent reality, believing that the solution for lack of actual creativy is the theorical and conceptual understanding of a book. Of course it is not as no doctrin, and no training, is ever compatible with the full demands of creation, inspite of how special and inspired the doctrine or system seems to be. Control or knowledge of systems is important only as it points to ( points to, not gives)understanding and helps in concrete action, being vital when dealing with others whom you feel something must be given to and shared with or received with: you will more easily grasp what is needed and the language you ought to apply, and how to do so, and why and what for. It will also make you a better listener of the moment sometimes . Taking off of the ground will be smoother. A metasystem coming from actual practice, on the other hand, allows you to keep dressing the essencial in new clothes and new forms creatively, with care and affection for it´s nature without any sort of imposition and anxiety. Even so a system is a veil, the veil is needed to be lifted up, when you do it it is almost impossible not to cherish the veil too much due to the face it covers and is permeated by. But to do it is a mistake.Take also into account that Kostov, the responsible for the modern biomechanical revival did not do it for almost 40 years, as it was forbidden. That way of training is also linked with the trend of the age back then: Taylorism, efficacity, technology, constructivism. There is a five minute video of the General Inspector recovered by a french woman from oblivion rather recently.He was a genious, Meyerhold, and in that geniality also was the systematizer of a set of "etudes" able to strip away the naturalistic convention of actors. What is important are not so much the exercises or etudes themselves but his particular approach to them and the principles beneath, that had to do with his objectives and visions for the stage. He drank from Commedia del Arte, Oriental Theatre, Circus and Juggling, and even the Vedic physical trainings and many more. But Biomechanics was not his greatest contribution and in the core of his research, a rather secondary thing. Meyerhold is badly known so, and confusion easily installs. We were fortunate that Eisenstein kept his archives, at the risk of jail or worse, Meyerhold himself was murdered. Meyerhold actors worked with Biomechanics, a rather precise thing not an ideia of training, and with boxing, sports, fencing, equitation, juggling, mask improvisation that he reinvented from how he saw Commedia, and on. Biomechanics itself was not so vital and significant only in a phase. He had many phases, faces and characters defined and for each character is changed his approach. Doctor Dappertutto, for example was Meyerhold´s name as a master of Commedia. Meyerhold created and dropped things with the blink of an eye. It is not true also that he was opposed to Stanislavsky, he loved him. Meyerhold,Vakhtangov,Mikhail Chekov and Tairov were wonderful disciples and Stanislavsky a magnific master : they perpetuated the tradition by being absolutely themselves and curiously, by creating new systems that were NOT "systems", meaning that their ideias steemed from practice and from a dream of life and of theater in the practice, always on the run. I love them all : Meyerhold was murdered, Vakhtangov worked 18 hours a day with cancer and acute pain for two years before dying just after the opening of Turandot ( Stanislavsky carried his body himself the legend goes and allowed no one else to do so). Mikhail Chekov surpassed Theatre itself and his search was always within the invisible realms. Tairov was a magician of colours. And they all , and rather sarcastically, made tremendous fun of each others, often bordering insanity and physical agression. Their ethics was one of evolution and growth, and of battle for the Art within the Art .This you will find out if you study their lives and enter the place where their tsunamic spirit comes again alive, in no other way but by doing.
Hugo Calhim Cristóvão