Rhythms for Life

A Hands-on Workshop with Pedro de Alcantara

Saturday & Sunday, November 25 & 26

Please email me for more information or to register.

Come explore the world of rhythm in movement, gesture, and sound. The workshop is open to everyone; no previous experience or training necessary. 

When? Saturday & Sunday, November 25 & 26, 2017. From 2 to 7 PM. You can choose to come on either day or both days.

Where? Studio Bleu, 7/9 rue des Petites Ecuries, 75010 Paris. Métros Château d'eau (line 4) or Strasbourg-Saint Denis (lines 4, 8 and 9). The Studio Bleu is on the first floor of the building sandwiched between the Franprix supermarket and the New Morning jazz club.

For Whom: Anyone interested in skills of observation, creativity, mindfulness, and adaptability. Limited to 12 participants. Past participants have included artists, musicians, writers, health professionals, and public speakers.

How Much: Each day costs €120. Take both days and receive a discount: €200 instead of €240. Please email me for more information or to register. 


Saturday, November 25 from 2 to 7 PM

1. Seven Patterns. We’ll study the juncture of words, sounds, and gestures, and we’ll look at how rhythmic patterning affects one’s use and identity. The exercises include a simple but strangely challenging exercise to coordinate your intentions and your gestures; and an innovative meditation on walking.

2. “Happy Birthday.” We’ll study basic rhythmic concepts and learn how to organize them into a coherent whole, using “Happy Birthday” as a framework. Don't worry, you don't have to sing if you don't feel like it! . . . you can talk instead, and perform the song in speech alone. You'll learn to organize your thoughts and gestures so that they flow more smoothly.

Sunday, November 26 from 2 to 7 PM


3. Become Your Text. Awareness of a text’s rhythmic construction is the key to become comfortable in speech and communication. We’ll look at the rhythms of language in speech, and we’ll use texts (prose, poetry, verbal improvisations) as arenas for improving coordination, voice use, and expressivity.

4. The Theater of Marionettes. To talk, to express yourself, and to communicate are all “multimedia activities” involving thoughts, words, sounds, rhythms, gestures, and many other features. Depending on how and why you do it, gesticulating while speaking is sometimes a handicap, sometimes a strength. In this workshop we’ll practice multiple styles of gesticulating (or using your hands as if they were marionettes in a play), so that you become the boss of how you talk.

Below, a video clip of a young Woody Allen performing stand-up comedy, introduced by Jack Paar (a pioneer of talk shows on TV). Watch the clip and start pondering "the theater of marionettes." It's interesting to compare the body languages of Paar and Allen, and interesting to become able to imitate them both as you develop a vocabulary of gesticulation.

Resources for further study: Chapters 1, 5, and 6 of Integrated Practice: Coordination, Rhythm & Sound