Robert Allen received his M.F.A. in directing from Columbia University, where he studied under Anne Bogart, Andre Serban, Marcus Stern, and others. He also has an M.F.A. in choreography and performance from UCLA. Robert is a certified teacher of the Michael Chekhov method for actor training with the National Michael Chekhov association. He is also a certified Yoga teacher with the National Yoga alliance.
He has had a full professional career as a dancer, choreographer, and physical theater artist in the United States and Europe. He has extensive practical experience in contemporary, improvisational approaches to theater and dance making, both in the United States and in Germany. While at UCLA he studied with Bill T. Jones and later worked with him on several projects. He worked for Japanese choreographer Kei Takei and was subsequently recruited to work in Germany for the choreographer Reinhild Hoffmann, a contemporary of Pina Bausch in the Tanztheater movement.
He has taught acting, directing, and movement for actors at Cypress College; California State University, Long Beach (where he held the title of Head of Movement); and most recently at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County as an Assistant Professor in directing. He has directed the plays of new and emerging playwrights in connection with major producers such as LaMama E.T.C. and the Theater for the New City as well as at theater festivals such as the New York International Fringe Festival, the Chekhov Now Festival, and the “August in January” Strindberg festival. He has published on improvisation and theater training, and his most recent article on yoga for actors was published in the anthology Movement for Actors (2nd edition).
)) Improvisational Movement Class
This class is for the dancer, the actor, the physical theater artist, and all performers who value physical creativity. It is for the choreographer and the director exploring methods of composition, blocking, and staging. It is for the composer, the writer, and the visual artist interested in the dynamics of time and space. It is for everyone who craves a rewarding relationship with physicality that expands their relationship with their body and other bodies, and with images, soul, and reality.
This is a technique class; it incorporates approaches to physical creativity from a wide range of sources. These include the nature-based, choreographic techniques of Alma Hawkins; the surreal, experimental fusion of theatre and dance of Joe Goode; the postmodern, structural experiments of Bill T. Jones; the generative methods of Pina Bausch and Reinhild Hoffmann of the German Tanztheater movement; the improvisational dance approach of the Viewpoints, created by Mary Overlie and adapted by Anne Bogart as a training for actors; the philosophical insights of the preeminent actor and teacher Michael Chekhov; and my many years of improvisation, as a performer and director/choreographer.
No previous level of dance technique or performance experience is required for this class, though you should be in generally good health. The class involves running and walking for extended periods of time; nominal flexibility and joint health is also a plus. Accommodations will be worked out for people with limitations in these areas.