Chapter 3 - Actor
Published online by Cambridge University Press: 12 November 2019
The focus is on the subtle meanings of Stanislavsky’s ‘life of the human spirit’, demonstrating this idea’s seminal importance for his System and the latter’s roots in specific aspects of Russian Orthodoxy, primarily its holistic approach. The perspective offered here looks directly at Stanislavsky’s religious beliefs, which scholars either have not recognized or have avoided, and it runs counter to recent studies of the System, which promote yoga as its main influence. Key formulations intended to be of practical use to actors are shown to be integral to Stanislavsky’s worldview, which made his System far more than a matter of technique and actor training. The chapter indicates how lack of attention to his worldview, from which his religious and artistic views are inseparable, is bound up with inadequate translation into English of numbers of his principal terms.
Stanislavsky’s notion of the organic actor has Isadora Duncan’s natural dancing for reference, among others, and that of emotional experiencing is identified in respect of other types of acting central to Stanislavsky’s critique. His views on ethics and discipline are foregrounded – another neglected but indispensable facet of his worldview and of his understanding of the actor.
- Rediscovering Stanislavsky , pp. 87 - 128Publisher: Cambridge University PressPrint publication year: 2019