Alive in the theatre

In view of the avalanch of mass culture expressions, deeply influenced or determined by reproduction techniques, theater lovers stress its exceptionality due to its condition of "alive" perfomance which occurs, as existence itself, in a series of unrepeatable moments, in sheer present with no return. Such is, certainly, one of its most distinctive qualities which, however, entails an extraordinary difficulty for its performers. Properly speaking, to fulfill this condition, the actor must be -as Eugenio Barba defined so well- continuously "alive", in other words, in constant appeal and practice of all psychophysical means, without possibility of distraction, in growing presence

It is easily understood that if Theater, concerning all the ones who love and enjoy it, who write, make or create it, must not resign itself to be a cultural relic, then it will have to encourage that "alive" condition posing to its creators the old question of entertaining, tuning and conserving the basic and essential psychophysiological abilities of this art: atention, vocal capacity, physical imagination, spirit of playing, etc. These abilites are precisely the most eagerly eroded by the passing of time and their diminishment reduces inevitably the performer's comunicative capacity. Considering the natural cycle in which body cells perish and renovate themselves constantly, should we not pay preferent attention to our indispensable technical, physical and psychological knowledge? and also to the renovation of our artistic discipline, nourished by life, breathing together with its receptor, the public, through dialogue amongst other artists, other codes and other cultures.

Within my understanding, the stimulus and development of the performer's abilities which allow the unrepeatable events of theater to take place, is not achievable only through the training itself - as brilliant as it may have been - acquired in a Conservatoire, by the conscious practice or responsable advice from a master but, beyond all this, through constant learning and an adequate training for each life-time period, considering the conservation of essential abilities of this beautiful art. Amongst them, I would like to signify as well others which make Theater a live art: the intention and the urge of saying something, communicating ideas and particular ways of feeling in relation with our environment, bringing them over to others.

Could we imagine a great performer, an artist or an excellent sportsman or woman whom is not commited with a continous tuning of their abilities? Only by questioning ourselves and through inexhaustible search will the fire of perfomers and creators be kept alight: we see them burn, without flames, from their very inside. It is that energy that shines, purifies and propagates: the spirit that must bloom in Theater.

José Luis Gómez

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