Within our lives, we migrate across many worlds.
For instance, ‘the world of childhood’—which envelops us with its tastes, smells and sounds when someone asks you a question as simple as ‘where did you grow up?’. Or the urban world of a big city like London or New york where everyone is a stranger. We think and behave differently to adapt and connect in these different worlds we simultaneously inhabit. I also believe that stories unfold in the journeys between these worlds.
In workshops and personal sessions, we will explore how everything we create as artists comes from a questioning of the world we live in and the way we fill unknown gaps with our imagination—myths begin from the ‘stories we tell ourselves’.
We start with you and the worlds you inhabit, then we discover seeds for creating theatre that is mythical, that awakens the imagination and allows us to collectively reach beyond the horizontal line of human drama and into the vertical line of heaven and hell: we will discover the comic and tragic, the mythic and the banal, the beautiful and ugly spaces on that axis.
We will journey together to make our bodies available to intuition and imagination, we will lower our judgments on ourselves and each other, and we will reflect on both our lives and our art. We will combine reflection, imagination and observation of the present moment, allowing the mind and heart to expand the possibilities of image making. We will delve into the rich mythological world inside of ourselves, and bring it out through creative manifestations like writings and drawings. Although I will be facilitating your process of reflection and creation, they will be individual journeys in which you teach yourself.
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1-1 sessions are available upon request, areas of focus in these sessions are tailored to you. In the past, themes I have explored with the students have included:
- The creation of original work
- Cultivating personal artistic journeys
- Dramaturgy of devised work
AREAS OF FOCUS
- Personal and cultural narratives
- Research of ‘worlds’ – both in our histories and in the art we create
- Creation and dramaturgy of materials
- Cultivating physical and spiritual freedom in performing and creating
- Different kinds of narrative and visual stories
- Personal artistic journeys
My work supports many kinds of people who practice art: from theatremakers, to writers, actors who are seeking to bring their personal narratives to deepen their work, and people who work with creativity and stories.
Created and Performed by Elisabeth Gunawan
AT BROKEN BRIDGE
Performed by Jasmine Chiu
Directed and devised with Elisabeth Gunawan
ABOUT THE PRACTICE
My work derives from my practice as a yoga teacher, and our ongoing research in applied theatre and movement research with theatre masters including Mary Overlie, David Glass, Matej Matejka and various practitioners under Grotowski’s tutelage. My research in mythical storytelling has been hosted and supported by Arts Council England’s Developing Your Creative Practice grant and he Grotowski Institute in Poland. My work is driven by the question “Who am I?”—the conscious individual is consistently engaging in a profound questioning to live their lives with self-awareness and creativity.
“She is a miracle worker. She took the time to hear my story. She made sure that I would talk about myself the way I wanted to, and encouraged me to take as many detours as I needed to tell my story. I won’t bore you with the process because you should experience it first hand, but she really taught me about the process. And I somehow pulled it off the day of the public showing. … I highly recommend to see anything she’s involved with and to work with her if you get the chance.” –Nadege Nguyen, actress – graduate of ALRA South
“A kind of catharsis … During the workshop I felt that I am opening myself not only for new methods but also opening my internal barriers.” –Katarzyna Siedlecka – drama therapist
“She has a sharp eye … she challenged us in a very generous but precise way. ” –Irina Kurbanova, actress – graduate of Royal Academy of Dramatic Art
“She is a sensitive and engaging artist and teacher. She encouraged me to connect with myself on a physical and spiritual level during the making process, and not get stuck on the intellectual. The way Betty guides you through the exercises is grounding and creates a safe space to explore deeply and take risks.” –Hannah Kumari, actress/theatremaker
“She takes artists through a really gentle and simple process to tell stories that are true to yourself. She draws from a variety of influences and cultures and has built a practice that is unique and beautiful.” –Nishad More, actor – graduate of NYU Tisch School of the Arts and Royal Central School of Speech and Drama.