Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Prolonged containment

From Peta Tait, Performing Emotions: Gender, bodies, spaces in Chekhov's drama and Stanislavski's theatre, p. 90:

What is this inner realm and truth in acting emotions attributed to Stanislavski's work? Following in the tradition of Diderot and Talma, Stanislavski developed an understanding of how the performer could apply his or her experience of emotions to a role (Roach 1985: 197). As Catherine Schuler points out, however, Stanislavski's approach should also be framed within a well-established Russian distinction between "inspired" and "scientific" (or systematic) naturalism in a search for truth in acting, and was evident in the work of leading female performers (2000: 499). Stanislavski's systematic acting style involved "self control, concealment of emotions under a mask of outward composure, and the full exposure of hidden passions at the moment of highest dramatic tension" (Balukhaty 1952:35). The prolonged containment of emotions brings about an intensification in the build-up towards their climactic expression.
Sounds like the structure of the contemporary American short story.

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