Connected Motion is a textbook for actors who want to improve the way they move on stage. It guides the actor through a series of very specifically designed improvisations and exercises. The system is a clear, simple process that fosters the organic connection between the actor's body and internal life. The solo, partnered and group projects allow actors to apply their newly developed connection. The text is ideal for a movement class but can also be a source book for acting and improvisation classes.
The legendary Broadway director Marshall W. Mason says this in the Introduction:
“Throughout my forty-five years of directing actors, and particularly through ten years of teaching students the underlying principles of acting, all my work and instruction has been seated in the necessity of relaxation. The other two pillars of concentration and imagination cannot be initiated without it. But though the need for an actor to be relaxed in order to be expressive is universally accepted, a method of achieving relaxation that connects to an actor’s work has been lacking.
"In this book, David Barker bridges the gap from the purely physical condition of achieving relaxation, and step by careful step, outlines a path for an actor to connect physically to the source of movement, an inner life of intention and emotion.
"Firmly rooted in the insights of Stanislavski and Meisner, David guides actors through the process of turning inner life into physical expression. It’s the detailed outline of this gradual journey that makes this remarkable book an indispensable aid to teachers, actors, and directors.
"David’s training of actors is not isolated in physical techniques, but is integrated into the study of acting as a whole. He begins with a clear and detailed approach to achieving physical relaxation, which can be condensed for use outside the studio whenever an actor must prepare to create.
"He incorporates Stanislavski’s concept of an unbroken line of creativity into physical expression. He points the way for an actor to go from a manifestation of his private inner life to Meisner’s insistence on responding totally and freely to your partners onstage.
"He instructs us on the importance of physical conditioning to the maximum expressiveness of an actor’s art. He utilizes music and dance to free the actor’s imagination, before introducing a text that floats neutrally upon a changing ocean of emotion. He enlists the value of symbols to both individual and group expression. He helps us to understand how the unguarded physicalization of an impulse is transformed into a living embodiment of meaning.
"Connected Motion gives fresh insight into the concept of using the body as an instrument whose external expression is intrinsically connected to inner creativity.
"At the beginning, David tells us that the simplest approach to acting is the best approach. That is the outstanding characteristic of this book: the beauty of its simplicity. I wish I’d had this text to share with my acting students so they would have been better prepared for the creative use of imagination in acting. Artistic effortlessness is hard to achieve, but this book helps us to understand the journey, and thereby eases the way.”