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Theatre laboratory IKIRU comes to Riga

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From  May 26th to June 2nd in Riga in honour of the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare a legendary British actor, director and teacherRobert Taylor Tayman helld a series of master-classes for actors, dancers and singers. Master-classes were held as part of the Shakespeare Lives Festival in partnership with CREA Promotion, Riga’s Maly Theatre, supported by tourism agency Express Tours, the British Council and the British Embassy in Riga.

Robert Taylor Tayman teaches a special performance technique of the Shakespearean theatre. This newly discovered ancient technique is being explored today in the light of the systems of Konstantin Stanislavsky and George Gurdjieff.

A master class begins with a training session, which turns into a rehearsal, which, in of itself, may already be a performance. Training sessions will include heavy physical exercises. Participants should dress accordingly. Participants should bring drinking water with them.

Throughout the work period the master will be choosing actors who will be invited to join his theatre projects. Further work will take place in Riga, as well as in London, Moscow and California.

Robert Taylor Tayman started his career in the 60s as a rock guitarist under the name of Bob Taylor.  He worked with such names as Chris Farlowe, Jimmy Page, the early Rolling Stones, The Who and many others.  At the same time he studied voice with Cicely Berry, a world-renowned voice director of the Royal Shakespeare Company.  Then his acting career began with a role in a scandalous production of John Osborne’s “A Patriot for Me”.  He was noticed and invited to join the National Theatre of Great Britain.  He worked under the direction of the great master Sir Laurence Olivier, director Peter Brook; he starred in many theatre productions, in films, worked as a director, composer, writer.  At that time he was known as Robert Tayman.

In the late 70s he was introduced to the Gurdjieff-Ouspensky teaching.  He has done a tremendous amount of work exploring acting as an experience of synergy of consciousness and will.  Then he met a woman, who played a decisive role in his life — she showed him another theatre, a new way of acting.  This is how Robert describes it:  “When I first saw her, she came on the stage and started her monologue.  I could hardly believe what I saw and felt next…  It seamed, that she moved the space before her.  It was as though the air was vibrating, and a completely new world was forming in the space between her and the audience.  It seemed, the audience felt her every action.  The character created by her lived before us, it existed in the molecular space.  We were left speechless by the mystery of her technique.”

In 1980s he was the Director of Voice at London Guildhall University and at East 15 Acting School.  In 1990s research work took him to Germany, India and the United States, he also taught at the Moscow Art Theatre in Russia.

Then he founded his own theatre company — International Actor Training.  IAT primarily works in San Francisco and New York, and in Moscow, Russia.  Its projects include “Oberon”, “The Dream”, “Hamlet”, “Fragments”, “Othello”, “The Tempest”, “Journey of my other self”, Act San Francisco, PTTP Delaware, Chico Festival CA, IKIRU NYC, “Heracles — The Myth” in Paris, France.  The most recent project is IKIRU theater laboratory and its production of “King Lear” in Moscow, Russia in 2015.

During Robert’s visit to Riga we hosted two art meeting dedicated to William Shakespeare and his art.

Creative meeting with theatre legend and incredible master Robert Taylor Tayman in Riga on June 2nd 2016:

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