Foreword by James Conlon
"Imagination is spiritual perception. Authenticity is spiritual presence." — M. C. Richards
Performing artists and teachers often speak of the huge impact “Center” has upon their profession and craft.
In this book, conductor and educator James Jordan details how the power of Center grounds performance, teaching, and learning, bringing the reader full circle to the ideas first introduced in his best-selling book The Musician’s Soul.
Nova Thomas, an acclaimed singer and master teacher, relates how she employs Centering in her work preparing actors and vocalists for their life on the stage.
The insights of these two renowned teachers reveal the importance of Centering in the day-to-day life for all performance, artists, and teachers—illustrating the “how’s” and “why’s” of Centering, and how Centering can transform one’s performance and teaching.
The authors also cover the groundbreaking contribution of M.C. Richards, whose efforts to define Center profoundly shaped the creative life of all musical and dramatic arts in the United States.
Toward Center also covers:
• A definition of Center
• The importance of knowing “The Crossing Point”
• An overall philosophy of Centering
• Aspects of Spiritual Center
• Aspects of Physical Center and Grounding
• Breath exercises to access Center
• Performance/Teaching focus as an aspect of Center
• Application of Stanislavsky Circles of Attention to performance, teaching, and conducting
• Role of Centering in the development of the creative arts
• Insightful applications of Centering by the authors to all performing artists and teachers
• The role of focus and its use in performance, teaching, and conducting
• How to achieve authenticity, honesty, and spiritual presence in both performance and teaching
This beautiful, illustrated book is an invaluable resource for performers, actors, conductors, and teachers alike.
Widely acknowledged as one of the most influential conductors in America, James Jordan, Senior Conductor at Westminster Choir College of Rider University, through his eighteen books and recordings, has brought about far-reaching changes in choral music, music education, and conducting.
Nova Thomas, an internationally acclaimed soprano who has performed in opera houses around the world, is an Assistant Professor of Voice at Westminster Choir College of Rider University, where she serves as Director of the university's renowned Music Theater Program. She also serves as Chair of the Voice and Speech Program at the New School for Drama of the New School University in New York City.