Mind over matter

Apr 07, 2013, 11:27 IST | Rinky Kumar

Did you know you could hone your writing skills by mastering your body movements? Actor Yuki Ellias' day-long workshop promises to teach you just that

Remember those times when you were unable to put your thoughts on paper simply because you were unable to express yourself clearly? Or because you were suddenly affected by writer’s block?

Participants underwent a series of movement exercises to get over writer’s block at Yuki Ellias’ writing workshop in Bangalore earlier this year

Actor Yuki Ellias’ day-long workshop may be the answer to all writers’ woes. The session will help people get in touch with their inner selves, mastering the movements of their bodies and thereby their thoughts. Elaborating on how the workshop works, Ellias says, “It will involve a series of explorations with body movement to show how it triggers thoughts and emotions that help individuals to write. I will provoke their emotions through something as simple as a sentence, a phrase or by asking attendees to visualise something.”

She adds that this technique, which is popular among theatre artistes, focuses on participants exploring rhythm, space, movement and emotion. Ellias, who has been conducting such workshops with artistes, herself learnt the ropes of the art from her mentor — the late Jacques Lecoq, a French artiste and founder of L’École Internationale de Théâtre, who is known for his methods on physical theatre, movement and mime.

Yuki Ellias

Ellias adds that these simple mind exercises are helpful for artistes. She adds, “Using the body is a great way to get in touch with your inner self as the body is the most honest medium. The problem is that we don’t use our body enough, apart from the daily activities of walking, sitting, running etc. The whole idea is to enable participants to come out of their comfort zone and inspire them to try new things. We need to strike a balance between being strong and vulnerable.”

The actor, who has studied at the London International School of Performing Arts and toured the world with Tim Supple’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, admits that these workshops which are largely also attended by painters, musicians, helps in a cross pollination of thoughts and ideas. “The interesting part is that as artistes all of us are unique yet we share a common love for our art. That makes the entire process of learning more enriching.”

Ellias has conducted a similar workshop in January this year as part of Lekhana 2013, a cultural festival organised by Jagriti Theatre of Bangalore.

Christina Daniels, author of Ginger Soda Lemon Pop and I’ll Do It My Way, a biography of Aamir Khan, who attended the workshop, found it “really valuable” as writers often need different techniques—to break mind blocks, move on with story ideas or develop new threads. “Approaching words through movement was something that I had not looked at before. I was able to feel and then verbalise, rather than think about it and then put words,”
she says.

When: April 13, 10 am to 5 pm
Where: Essar House, Keshav Rao Khadye Marg, Mahalaxmi
Contact: 66003000 

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