So if the body is the actor’s musical instrument, how can you produce the music of Physical theatre?
Mime – This usually means stylised movement but can be comparatively realistic.
Gesture – A gesture may be something small but can have emotional impact or it can be a particular movement that defines a character.
Status – This may be executed by use of levels or by distance or strength of contact, or a combination of all of these with voice work.
Proximity – How close or far you are from your co-performers can be a source of very powerful impact. For example, the threatening gangster who speaks to his victim from a distance of perhaps a couple of inches.
Stance – This is associated with strength as the body could radiate assertion and authority or weakness by stance, incorporating posture.
Harshness and tenderness - Used here as umbrella terms to focus on the fact that in physical work the gestures and bigger movements come together to express the emotions of the piece.
Movement - Every movement needs to be rehearsed with precision.
Not moving – If the stage is full of characters moving, immobility can have a powerful effect.
Mask work - The impact of a mask is visual and without the facial features to show action, movement becomes an even more central performance instrument.
Dance work – Don’t be afraid to include dance in your work; you don’t have to be an experienced dancer. ‘Dad dancing’ can work well in a comedy for instance!
Motif – This is repeated use of a movement pattern which has meaning and reminds us of the central theme of the work.