Fitzmaurice Voicework® & Vachika

Somatic Theater Voice

Mon, 04 May 2020 May4th - May 9th
3PM - 4.30PM

Rs 5,500

Destructuring & Restructuring®

WHEN: May 4th – 9th 3.30 to 5pm IST daily
FEE: INR 5500

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Voice is our aural presence, as the body is our physical presence. In this workshop, we will integrate breath, body, voice and imagination in the service of wellbeing, communication and human connection. We will also address specific vocal needs of the participants through individual sessions. 

Participants will learn to:

  • Destructure & Restructure®
  • Develop vocal power
  • Free a high, tight, or monotone voice
  • Deal with stress and anxiety – convert unresourceful states
  • Develop presence – being heard & being seen
  • Shift harmful vocal habits
  • Deploy tips and tricks for Public speaking – clarity, confidence & authenticity
  • Create a personal warm-up routine to address your unique needs

Who is it for:

  • Anyone who is interested in the miracle of the human voice
  • Actors – Film/TV/Theatre wanting to deepen their technique
  • Dancers/performers looking to add vocal expressivity to their practice
  • Singers/musicians looking for selfcare and authenticity
  • Voice over artists/podcasters/Radio/broadcast professionals seeking to build vocal range and vibrancy
  • Artists working across media (writers, visual artists) seeking an integrated physical practice
  • Business professionals/public facing executives seeking stress busting and presence building 
  • Educators/councillors looking to add wellbeing into their pedagogical toolkit

We are living in extraordinary times. Stress levels are unimaginable. No one is alone in this. However, even ordinarily, our nervous system receives real and perceived stress signals at an overwhelming rate. When a stress signal is received, the body prepares for action, causing muscles to tighten among a host of other activities triggered by the nervous system. The body reacts by either running away or by fighting to save itself from harm. This is commonly known as our flight or fight response. When this response is complete, and we find ourselves out of harm’s way, the body experiences a release. Our nervous system regulates us back to a state of stasis and goes into a repair, rest and digest mode. And we are back to the business of living. 

Many times, the threat is not something one can fight off or run from. This is when it gets tricky because the nervous system responds in the same way to perceived threat as to a real/immediate one. With nothing to fight or to run from, what happens to all that is built-up in the body? Well, the simple answer is: the signal is stuck in a loop, constantly triggering a response to a perceived threat. This causes excessive tension or tightness in the muscles. In the absence of a release mechanism/practice, over time the tightness accumulates and begins to alter the way we breathe, so naturally our voice changes too. Habitual tension adversely impacts posture, presence, vibrance, vitality and our general wellbeing.

What will Fitzmaurice Voicework® and Vachika do for the voice? Apart from deepening the breathing, it tends to release tight muscles, and sensitizes the body to vibration. Vocal resonance vibrates the body, and when muscles are tight, resonance can’t flow through the body. It flows better when we release muscles. Fitzmaurice Voicework® focuses on improving the expressivity and range of the voice through what is called Destructuring and Restructuring®. Destructuring involves reducing excess bodily tension, specifically around the breathing process. Restructuring involves learning to breathe in the most physiologically efficient way to support the voice without losing spontaneity.

The word ‘Vachika’ is drawn from the Natyashastra, where its meaning is indicated as cosmic sound or song. In voice work, Vachika is located in speech; where speech is seen as an arrangement of sound & rhythm – a kind of song. Since sound is energy, Vachika is an investigation into the sensorial perception of this energy when we speak. The curiosity we harbour is: when spoken, does this energy have the power to impact and heal the physical body of the speaker and listener?

Central to Vachika are the fundamentals of articulation, projection, pitch, volume, breath capacity and resonance. The aim is towards health and upkeep of the physical instrument of the voice and deepening of craft. Specific vocal needs are also assessed through individual sessions.

While the focus of the work is always presence, the human voice and communication, the work is inherently therapeutic and has direct benefits for those dealing with stress and anxiety. Beyond the important technical aspect of learning the use of one’s voice, a lot of this boils down to presence. Presence, is one of the most valuable assets for business professionals and leaders who want to influence their environment through communication and human connection. The good news is that ‘Presence’ can be learned!

About the Facilitator

Mallika Prasad Sinha trained as a performer at the National School of Drama, Delhi and Goldsmiths College, University of London. She has worked as an actor and theatre director since 1998 and is a multi-award-winning director and performer; she has produced a number of documentary films and starred in seminal films such as “Devi” Ahilya Bai (Hindi – 2002) and Kanooru Heggadathi (Kannada – 1999) and most recently has worked with Anurag Kashyap in his yet-to-be-released Hindi feature film – Ghanghor Connection (March 2020). 

She is a well-known personality in Kannada television. She has played lead roles and has been part of creative teams of several prominent serials such as Mussanjaya Katha Prasanga, Garva, Guptagamini, and Nagakannike. She has also lent her voice as the narrator, Cauvery for the prestigious Son et lumière Show at the Mysuru Palace.

Mallika is a certified Fitzmaurice Voicework® Teacher from the Fitzmaurice Institute in Los Angeles, which offers a wealth of perspective and exercises. She draws on a variety of traditional voice training exercises offered by Patsy Rodenburg and Cicely Berry and other approaches to address vocal and speech needs. Participants are introduced to exercises developed over two decades of working with actors and her training with masters, to develop their own vocal skills and abilities. Mallika has been taught by Khalid Tyabji, Veenapani Chawla, Sue Weston, Marie-Gabrialle Rotie, Steve Paxton and more recently, by Saul Kotzubei, Ilse Pfeifer, Cynthia Bassham, and Catherine Fitzmaurice. She has put together practical exercises that are based on principles found in Yoga, Kalaripayattu, Alexander Technique and Japanese Butoh. She has taught at all the premier theatre and acting institutes in India and Singapore.