Stanislavski's System

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Constantin Stanislavski was a theatre director, actor and theatre theorist in the late 19th century and the early 20's in Russia. His system (Stanilavski’s System) were ideas on relaxation, concentration of attention and tempo-rhythm. He had very distinct, yet simple to follow ideas on each three, which actors still use and study to this day.

Stanislavski dwelled on concentration of attention to a great extent. The use of attention when playing a role was considered very important. Concentrating on the attention was a skill that came from practice and focus, beginning in rehearsal and continuing into the final performance. The theory of concentration of attention is being able to concentrate on a particular part of the scene, which could be an object, a physical move or listening to the speech. Taking the theory of concentration a step further, Stanislavski devised the 'circles of attention'. This was where an actor would create a 'circle' in his or her own performance where they would devote their entire attention. Anything outside the circle would cease to exist. This would mean the performance would be totally dedicated, without any disruption from anything else, like a noise from the audience, or anything out of the ordinary.

Stanislavski also stressed the importance of physical relaxation, in his own opinion, muscular tension interfered greatly with the actors work, and his attempts to get into a role. He made a point of practicing relaxing muscles on a daily basis, and getting into a habit of relaxation, both on and off the stage Stanislavski felt that an actor should be aware of the body, and have great control over its movements. The awareness of body language was very important, and selecting the correct gesture and facial expression, type and tone of voice, pace and expression was essential. However, this great control of the body's movements was only possible through thorough relaxation. If an actor is relaxed, he is able to perform best,...
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