Physical Theatre: Exploring the Slap (FutureLearn)

Physical Theatre: Exploring the Slap (FutureLearn)
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No previous knowledge or experience is required, just an interest in physical theatre, theatre studies, or Russian culture.
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Physical Theatre: Exploring the Slap (FutureLearn)
Learn about Meyerhold’s form of physical theatre, biomechanics, and understand and perform ‘The Slap’. This course introduces you to world-renowned Russian director Meyerhold’s technique of biomechanics. It invites you to study and experience first-hand his revolutionary biomechanical étude, ‘The Slap’.

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Through a mixture of video, animation, discussion forums and practical exercises you will begin to understand Meyerhold’s Russian actor training technique – a two-minute repeatable exercise used to develop balance, awareness and expression. You will be invited to explore your own response to this unique approach to training and will share these responses with your fellow learners.


What topics will you cover?

- Meyerhold and the Russian Revolution: why biomechanics was invented and why he felt it was necessary

- Exploring ‘the Slap’ through biomechanical training exercises known as études

- Meyerhold in action: working safely by preparing using warm up techniques

- ‘The Slap’ in action: techniques for the ‘shake and shake’, ‘slap and taking aim’, and ‘the slap and return to neutral’

- Production of a video, image or prose demonstrating actions from the études


Learning on this course

You can take this self-guided course and learn at your own pace. On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.


What will you achieve?

- Explore and discuss events in Russia during the first half of the 20th century to help understand the development of Russian theatre, and the lives of Meyerhold and his contemporaries.

- Assess your understanding of biomechanics and the études.

- Reflect on the week’s learning by contributing to the discussion regarding moving in a biomechanical manner.

- Perform the biomechanics and études warm up activities.

- Explore the three components of ‘the Slap’.

- Develop your physical experience of moving biomechanically.

- Investigate historical examples of writing, still images and moving images and consider how you would like to record your experiences.

- Assess your understanding by completing the test which concludes the course.


Who is the course for?

This course is part of the Going to University collection which has been specifically designed for students at schools and colleges. They provide a taster of undergraduate study at the University of Leeds and help students to decide which subject to study at university.

Completion of the courses will also enhance students’ university applications.

The courses can also be used as a teachers’ classroom enrichment resource.

Courses in this collection are also great for people that want an introduction in the specific subjects discussed in each course.



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Course Auditing
34.00 EUR
No previous knowledge or experience is required, just an interest in physical theatre, theatre studies, or Russian culture.

MOOC List is learner-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.