Cultivating a lively use of tension: the
synergy between acting and the
Teva Bjerken, Belinda Mello and Robin Mello
This paper explores how the Alexander Technique concept of ‘use’ provides a means for exploring tension within the pedagogy and practice of mentoring young actors/artists. It presents examples taken from classroom instruction, linking the Alexander Technique with acting performance as two related and synergistic processes. It also provides examples from basic curricular processes and examines a composite case study, which stands as an aggregate portrait for students working in a university-based conservatory training programme. The discussion concentrates on how learners develop a lively, flexible and psychophysically grounded craft and ends by reflecting on the function of the Alexander Technique and its ability to provide a framework for theatre artists.