Trace The Heritage Of Stanislavski Through The Work And Research Of Grotowski.

1888 words - 8 pages

According to Peter Brook, 'no-one, since Stanislavski, has investigated the nature of acting, its phenomenon, its meaning, the nature and science of its mental-physical-emotional processes as deeply and completely as Grotowsi.'Grotowski was highly devoted to Stanislavski's work, so much so that as a young student in the State Theatre Institute in Poland he made independent research into the work of Stanislavski where he learned to work with physical actions. In his essay, 'Risposta a Stanislavskij' (Answer to Stanislavski), Grotowski states:'When I was a student in the school of dramatic art, in the faculty for actors, I founded the entire base of my theatrical knowledge on the principles of Stanislavski. As an actor, I was possessed my Stanislavski. I was a fanatic. I retained that it was the key that opens all the doors of creativity. I worked a lot to arrive to know all possible about that which he said or what was said about him.'However Grotowski did not just copy Stanislavski's work and research, but rather continued where he left off. Stanislavski's work on physical actions stopped only because he died, and Grotowski decided to continue the investigation on the knowledge already founded by Stanislavski. Grotowski says, 'I continued his research and did not just repeat what he had already discovered.'Jerzy Grotowski and Konstantin Stanislavski both dedicated their lives to research on craft. They worked with extraordinary stamina and persistence of personal effort, arriving at great achievements and discoveries in their art. An important question for both theatre makers was, 'For what does one work?' ' To serve' is imperative and foremost in their way of approaching art and the creative act. They both worked constantly, and through their efforts attempted to serve something over themselves. Such persons often arrive at great discoveries, and also are often greatly misunderstood. As mentioned before, Stanislavski was a great influence on Grotowski's work. According to him, Stanislavski's great service to the profession was the establishment of the Western actor's obligation to daily work and training in addition to performance. This alludes to the use of the term 'Method' which had become widespread since Stanislavski first introduced a more conscious, scientific perspective to the process of preparation for stage-craft. This theme 'Method' could be taken to mean 'a collection of internally coherent techniques for training voice and body, or as performance techniques which, if applied systematically, will be reasonably reliable in producing a recognizable effect or style.'4 Grotowski however viewed the meaning of the term in a slightly different manner. For him only a process of creating one's own method is important. This means that although Grotowski believes that there exists a concrete path of research and training for the actor, the essential condition which qualifies this path or 'Method' is that it is individual and personal:'In the...

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