Self-With-Others is the heart of DUENDE’s work and is the result of over twenty years research and experiment by John Britton.
Self-With-Others is an approach to training individuals within ensemble. Self-With-Others is a holistic (psychophysical) training that works towards the integration of thinking and doing. It is concerned with training and integrating the bodymind. It is a dynamic, physical, improvisatory, pleasure-based process that encourages performers to identify and overcome the blockages that prevent them from achieving what they might otherwise be capable of.
Self-With-Others is an ensemble training – asking performers always to grow in relationship with others. Those ‘others’ are initially other performers though, ultimately the training helps develop relationship with the environment, the audience, with imaginary characters – in other words with the whole network of relationships that underpin performance. Self-With-Others is also a powerful tool for developing solo performance.
Self-With-Others is based on a suite of core principles. These principles (healthy and useful ways of thinking when under the pressure of live performance) are based primarily in asking performers to value their pleasure. What we like is the only reliable guide to who we are as an artist. Self-With-Others encourages us to identify and value what we like in every moment of performance. This does not mean always doing what you want – rather it means finding what gives you pleasure in what your art demands of you.
Increasingly non-performers who have encountered Self-With-Others are developing its use in other areas of practice - therapy, education, community development, health and wellness, team-building, corporate training.
Self-With-Others is developed through The Ball Game, structured and unstructured solo, duet and group improvisation and a small number of other exercises. A full description and analysis of Self-With-Others can be found at Ensemble Physical Theatre – John Britton and a detailed outline of the training appeared in ‘Encountering Ensemble’ (Methuen; 2013). Further insights into the practice can be found in ‘Climbing The Mountain: A Performer’s Journey Into Presence’ (Leonora Press & Kindle Store; 2017) and in 'Rhythm in Acting and Perfomance' (Morris, E; Methuen 2017)