Examples of Treatises at the base
of this are: "Chironomia, a treatise on Rhetorical Delivery" (G. Austin),
“Theoretische lessen over gesticulatie en mimiek” ( J. Jelgerhuys), "Il Corago, o vero Alcune osservazioni per mettere bene in scena le composizioni drammatiche"
Period Acting Techniques
How it can make us better performers:
Historical treatises on gesture give us tools to intensify our singing through specific acting skills, allowing us to use our body without disturbing our instrument. This is not limited to the 'Gestures' themselves, but also includes the muscles of the face, the necessity and joy of 'expressive breaths' and a clear and deep interpretation of the text.
The singer or actor creates clear images to work with, with variations which facilitate memorizing the text, especially in a da capo aria or 'Lied' with many verses. The posture and general performance presentation are improved.
These techniques also show us how we can create a role from the outside in, as well as from the inside out, and teach us how to proceed either from an inner thought or emotion, or from a specific physical state that will activate a distinct emotion within us. This, in turn, will aid us in finding ever more colours of expression throughout the performance..
Whether in modern productions or historical ones, the study of period acting offers the singer/actor a vocabulary of techniques that promote freedom and expression on stage.