These are the inner Working Sessions of Imalis' ensemble. The Working Sessions are the meeting periods in which Imalis members and other regular collaborators develop Imalis' approach to the Ancient Theatre Tradition. Working Sessions kick-off sometime during the Summer Season and are paced throughout the year in a manner that helps us integrate experiences accumulated over the course of the laboratory workshops led by the master instructors and the lecturing/presentation circuits of the Winter and Spring.

Highly synthetic and collaborative, the work sessions are a unique event in the world of the contemporary practice of Ancient Greek Theatre. They are designed to condition members (and guests) to the formal & physical demands of ancient solfege and prosody, spatial awareness, sensory work, voice and movement integration for monody and chorus, inner action, breath and icon. 

Imalis’ inner sessions serve to explore in depth the ties linking ancient and contemporary practices on a systemic level, and train participants in foundation techniques such as
hypotyposes and enargeia, which constitute the core of Imalis' research. They also represent the main opportunity for free experimentation, discovery and development of new approaches as well as new works, in new languages, to feed the tradition .

Our ultimate goal in the sessions is to develop the keys of ancient poetics into an integral performance system in the tradition of Ancient Greek Theater, which we term ethopoetics.

The Working Sessions are scheduled once every three months, more or less, and run on a year-long cycle that begins at the start or end of the Summer Season, in which we try to set the thematic focus of Imalis’ line of research and development. Their duration is approximately six to ten days, but can run longer. In 2015, our first session will be in September, to be followed by the next in mid-December/early January, the third in March/April, and the fourth in late June/early July. Summer sessions take place in Epidaurus, while the rest happen in Athens or other special sites.

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SESSION ONE

Focuses on setting down the core practices of ethopoetics from scratch around a new text, and includes an important introduction to Imalis theoretical approaches, source text and deep reading techniques, breath-rhythm principles, simplified modal chant and monody, ancient psycho-somatic techniques, teleturgics and inner action.

The workshop's goal is to reveal that the power of the original dramatic verse is accessible to all practitioners independent of linguistic origin as a precise sequence of breath, sound and action that can be played believably and meaningfully. The workshop will also introduce its participants to ancient phonology as the vibration of specific energy-forms through the body & the voice. We learn again how ancient actors and dramaturges used the science of prosody to work that energy’s foundation in the breath and extend it inwardly into symbol and action, and outwardly into amphitheatric space.

We lay down the foundations of performance practice in Ancient Greek Theatre in order provide our collaborators with the tools for working directly and independently in the tradition, through an experiential exploration of the framing principles and psycho-somatic techniques encoded in the primary sources and artifacts, as well as secondary historical references, parallel and sister traditions. Participants learn how the original poetic text in Ancient Greek is voiced, translated and broken down into its fundamental phonetic and physical components so that we can maintain contact and collaborate on work in progress throughout the year.
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SESSION TWO

Recaps the fundamentals of Session 1 with participants coming in with their own specific monologue and scene-work choices. Here we seek to aid one another in tapping the singular tonal-state/energy-stream out of which each artist builds a role through a process of improvisational structures and composition that seeks to uncover the basic principles and personal materials/conditioning that lead to the co-arising of the role in its sensory, vocal and physical aspects. This session’s goal is to deepen the practitioners’ contact with the symbolic-teleturgical dimensions of ancient performance and processes of principles of properly theatrical katharsis. Session 2 builds on source work with deeper explorations of modal chant, monody and ear training in Hellenic and sister traditions (classic, byzantine & demotic Greek song) as well as more advanced inner-life techniques that develop hypotyposis and enargeia. This session is recommended for participants with more extensive performance experience.
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SESSION THREE

Will recap sessions 1 and 2 allowing a deeper exploration of the creative process of ancient performance in search of the vertical dimensions of the role and the dimension of the sublime through the use of harmonics, elemental work and the integration of the three energies. While all three sessions will have worked toward this therapeutic and spiritual aspect of ancient ethopoetics, the third session will involve a more intense and personal commitment to the performer's connection with the archetypal dimensions of ancient dramaturgy and engagement with katharsis in its three fold aspect. This session is for participants with more advanced training in voice, movement, energy work and/or Stanislavski-based acting and is open only to those having participated in the previous two sessions in the same or previous years, or other advanced research workshops.

All three sessions are exploratory exercises in native tongue staging of the Imalis ensemble and constitute preparatory work for demonstrations. These work sessions are open to external participants wishing to engage with us in different stages of our development process. Ensemble members will aid external participants in assimilating different aspects of our approach. Each session integrates all previous work to date including workshops led by external teachers.