Vaachika - The Awakened Voice In this workshop, you will start the voyage towards your true, natural voice.
Sunday, 25th November 10 AM to 5 PM Fee: 2,700
The session is for actors, storytellers, dancers and performance artists who wish to gain a deeper insight into the voice, musicians, performing professionals such as jugglers, fire artists, DJs, MCs, radio and TV presenters, teachers, corporate professionals and anyone else interested in the beauty, power and creative potential of the human voice.
Vaachika in classical Indian philosophy and aesthetic theory means the human faculty of speech and vocal expression. Vaachika is a step-by-step initiation into the breath-work, body awareness and works on parameters such as tone, rhythm, resonance, expression and pause, and finally embodiment of spoken language that is needed to achieve a heightened energy in vocal and overall presence. It is based on more than a decade of research into various approaches to voice and presence, in western theatre as well as Indian traditions of performing arts, chanting practices, etc.
|| About the Programme
The voice is the gateway to the soul. Our psychological sense of identity, our self-image is deeply connected to the voice, and vice versa. Our lifestyles and the psychological effects of our life experiences (especially repressive, traumatic ones) all affect our voices. Over time, we develop various tensions and wrong breathing patterns, because of these experiences and lifestyle choices, and separate the voice from the rest of our bodies, while in reality, the voice comes from the whole body. An open, relaxed and strong voice cannot come without a relaxed, grounded and focused body.
We will start with gentle but deep breath awareness, focusing on relaxing and opening the mouth, jaws and throat, and providing breath support to the voice. We will then move on to humming, vocalizing sounds, harmony and connecting the body and voice, and developing a sense of rhythm and flow. We will use vocal improvisations and aspects of various voicing techniques. Hence we will learn how to awaken the 'body-voice', i.e. how to provide more fullness and resonance to the voice by providing muscular support to the breath with the whole upper body. In the final phase, we will work to discover deep connections between voice, body, thought and imagination. The focus in this segment will be on how to give greater precision and intention to our voice, and how to infuse layers of emotion and expression, and how to embody the voice and project our whole presence through it.
|| Session Flow
First Half: Hour 1: 1) Specific breathing exercises that involve the entire upper body (abdomen, chest, upper back, shoulders, core and spine) in breathing. 2) Inhaling and exhaling with intention - exploring different patterns of breath, both slow/sustained as well as short /sharp. 3) Voice exercises that draw upon yoga to open up the voice and support it from the spine and body. How to achieve a resonant, tension free voice by elongating the neck and spine and activating the core. Simultaneously, we will also learn to give precision and focus to our vocal delivery by connecting the voice and the gaze.
Hour 2: 1) Working on simple harmony - interrelationship between the individual, the collective and space. 2) Exploring presence and awareness, group dynamics and deep listening. We begin to focus on the inner values of vocal presence and presence in general: attention, listening, groundedness, inner silence, stillness. It begins to emerge that voice-work is really about listening and being open, and in fact, presence is not something that goes out from us, but really an ability to be open and transparent and to receive. 3) Connecting movement and voice. Accessing inner emotional material through the voice.
Hour 3: 1) Speech - rhythm, pause, silence, expressivity. 2) Connecting speech, gesture and movement. 3) Towards the 'inner' - closing with sound meditation and chanting.
Second Half: Hour 4: Going further and deeper into breath work and rhythm. Playing with choral, rhythmic improvisations through which we explore complex dynamics and relationships. This work is high energy, challenging our barriers and blockages, and most importantly, lots and lots of fun!
Hour 5: Deeper into sonorousness, resonance, exploration of inner images and associations through sound and musicality. We also explore the connections between breath, emotions and voice. In both these segments, we begin to weave in practical applications to work, in both a serious as well as a playful way. So working in pairs, small groups as well as the whole group, we work with conversations that we might need to have or speeches that we might need to give in our professional context.
Hour 6: Going deeper into spoken text. Exploring heightened, dramatic speech as well as words in everyday contexts. We will also focus on the energy of vowels and consonants, the texture, taste, depth and nuance of words, in other words, being mindful and wholly present to oneself, to what one is saying, to space and to the listeners.
You will gain an understanding of how to relax and open up the physical apparatus of voice production, and to achieve a stronger respiration technique to support the voice. You will take home a repeatable set of vocal exercises, which if practised consciously will expand the range and richness of your voice. You will gain an understanding of the deeper, inner connections between body, voice, emotion, imagination and self-awareness. You will have an insight on how the voice can become a pathway towards an inner personal journey of evolving our presence and leadership potential.
|| Do's and Don'ts
As the session involves physical movement, please come in comfortable, loose-fitting clothes. Do not wear wristwatches, socks or jewellery during the session. Do not have a heavy meal for a couple of hours before the session Bring a short text (lines from a favourite poem or a childhood memory) of about seven or eight lines in any language. Also come with a song you know by heart, such as a folk song or a lullaby, and also a speech you might need to give at the workplace.