Above: Bobby Dartt of LaLa Theater. The characters pictured here were created using The Polarities.
The Polarities, originally developed by Giovanni Fusetti, refers to a method of investigating and embodying human psychological movement, in the same way a Lecoq student would study the way the ocean moves or the way the wind gusts, in order to physically embody the movements of nature.
Giovanni Fusetti based Polarities on the work of Gestalt. In studying and teaching LeCoq, he found that students studied every other aspect of nature and did exercises focused on personality and character, but did not work directly on emotional and psychological human behavior. Within the work of Polarities, one examines and plays from this behavior as a movement in space.
Elizabeth continues to develop and deepen our understanding of the Polarities. While working with The Polarities for over a decade, Elizabeth discovered that the Polarities are a vital tool for both artists and non-artists.
Teachers and those who work with the public
People who teach or work with the public, benefit enormously from understanding their own behavior and their reactions to the behavior they encounter. For example, issues such as authority, insecurity, chaotic or structured environments can be worked with. Insights and problem solving arrive intuitively to the student, creating lasting change and increased comfort and flexibility in challenging situations.
The modern workplace
In the modern workplace, collaboration and working within a group are becoming more expected and required. Unfortunately, the ability to collaborate effectively with a variety of colleagues is a skill that we are not taught. Collaborative skills include: Being able to utilize our full skill set no matter the group we are in; tap into the creative abilities of all members; find humor and trust in each other in times of pressure; minimizing of defensive or competitive behaviors; finding the fruits of conflict; depending on and assisting the strengths and challenges of our colleagues; and understanding the particular group dynamic itself. The Polarities are the essential tool for developing these skills and abilities, through play and personal discovery.
In Theatre, the Polarities are used in the creation of convincing and compelling characters, transcending your typical patterns and reactions in improvisation, sharpening commitment and focus, and to foster better and more nuanced acting. In addition, many contemporary theatre projects are now 'ensemble created'. The aforementioned benefits of the Polarities in other work environments more than apply to this collaborative way of creating.
Just as The Polarities help artistic and work based relationships, they yield just as much insight and useful understanding of behavioral patterns in personal relationships, and in the relationship with oneself.
The ultimate goal of The Polarities is the ability to remain in the 'Bigger You', to observe the psychological movements around and in you, without being pulled into any particular Polarity. You grow increasingly able to choose how to engage and play with the movements present, both in yourself and others. Essentially, it is to develop compassion and understanding for yourself and those around you.