PRINCIPLES & PRACTICES

We endeavor to create an inclusive and responsive environment in which to explore the embodiment and freedom of the individual’s unique performance spirit.  Based in on-going research, our approach follows the dynamic, interconnected systems of the human organism to support a continually evolving artistic process.  It sees the body and voice as equal partners in the revealing of vibrational presence, resonance and range into language on stage. 


The practices, which balance simple anatomical truths with energizing, imaginative and creative exploration, invite a consciousness and awareness to move through limiting patterns and habits into the recognition and recovery of one’s vitality and potential.  They offer time and space to honor the sometimes complex, paradoxical and mysterious journey in the cultivation of ease, clarity, specificity, courage and dynamic response. 


The work will leave you with invigorating questions, refined skills, and an energized, healthful practice to support your professional goals. 

HISTORY

The Moving Voice Institute has developed as a natural expansion of more than three decades of dedicated exploration, teaching and research of the embodied voice and movement principles that have been the core of Canada’s National Voice Intensive.

The Voice Intensive began in 1986 under the direction of David Smukler. The impetus was the creation of a voice teacher training program.  Quickly the Voice Intensive grew from a four-week in-depth examination of the performer’s voice to an ongoing five-week exploration, each year unfolding to create a learning and research experience for faculty and participants alike. The core of the Voice Intensive training and curriculum were grounded in David Smukler’s evolving understanding of the principles that came via his training with Kristen Linklater, based in the work of Iris Warren, and the Syntonics® and Embodied Practice® principles of Voice Intensive faculty member Judith Koltai.

In 2017, the Voice Intensive faculty made a shift from offering only the 5-week intensive structure to creating an institute that would further research and develop training, workshops and explorations in response to the current realities of today's world.  The founding of the Moving Voice Institute in 2019 is the launch into initiatives that expand the scope and range of programming, invite wider participation from faculty and participants, while offering both intensive and shorter workshops across the country and in the United States.

Photo by William Yong

The Moving Voice Institute faculty acknowledge the significant contributions of former colleagues to the development and legacy of the Voice Intensive.

Dale Genge

Dale Genge has been the Head of Voice for Studio 58, Western Canada’s professional conservatory theatre-training program at Langara College in Vancouver, Canada, where she taught for 35 years. She is a founding faculty member of The Canadian National Voice intensive.  She is also a Certified Laban Movement Analyst and has been deeply influence by the extended vocal work of Richard Armstrong. For the last seven years she has been on faculty of Banff Centre’s Writing Studio, teaching narrative writers and poets. She trained extensively with the late Jungian Analyst Marion Woodman, and she taught for the Marion Woodman Foundation in Switzerland. Dale’s primary research is exploring how language, especially metaphor and poetry, is expressed through the embodied imagination of artists. Dale can be reached at dmgenge@shaw.ca

Judith Koltai

For over 40 years, Judith has pioneered her unique approach in body movement practices applied to education, performing arts, psychotherapy and physical rehabilitation. She holds an MA in Educational Psychology and has taught in major universities and conservatories training professional practitioners and performing artists. She is a forerunner in the application of the discipline of Authentic Movement to the creative/performing arts, specifically to voice, text, writing and the initiation of original work. Judith is a member of the Academy of Registered Dance/Movement Therapists. 


Selected assignments:

  • Founder and Master Teacher of the Guild and Masterclasses of Embodied Practice®, an ongoing research and training programme for experienced professionals and advanced students.

  • Inventor of the methodology of the restorative physical practice: Syntonics®

  • Founder and Animateur: The Cassandra Project, a creative performance and social research collective, 2003-2008

  • Director of Movement, National Voice Intensive of Canada, 1990-2018

  • Guest Artist/Movement Coach, National Theatre School of Canada,2003-2008  

  • Guest Teacher, Compagnie Marie Chouinard, 2006 and presently

  • Guest Teacher, Venice Biennale, Biennale College Dance, 2016 and presently.

For list of some published writings refer to www.embodiedpractice-judithkoltai.com

Christine Menzies

Christine is a native Trinidadian and has been an actor and director in the UK, Trinidad, Canada and the US; Voice/Dialect Director at Swine Palace Productions and the Reilly Theatre, Louisiana; Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Portland Center Stage and Artists Repertory Theatre, Oregon; Kentucky Shakespeare Festival; Cornerstone Theater, A Noise Within in Los Angeles, and most recently SWEAT at the Denver Performing Arts Center.  Her directing credits include BIG LOVE, SCORCHED, MACBETH, THE PIANO LESSON and GEM OF THE OCEAN.  Christine has served as Professor of Voice and Director at Louisiana State University, Portland State University, the University of Southern California, Cal Poly, Pomona, UBC, and Dalhousie.  She is currently Professor of Voice, Physical Theatre and Director at California State University, Northridge.

Rod Menzies

As a founding faculty member, Rod is grateful to be part of the roots and branches of the Voice Intensive. As director, actor coach and teacher, he draws extensively on his formative work first as a student and then as a colleague of David and Judith. After training at the Bristol Old Vic, he earned his MFA from York University, where he began to teach. Before locating in LA to teach for the University of Southern California, he taught at universities across Canada and Canada’s National Theatre School, and performed at the Stratford Festival. A devoted theatre maker, Rod has developed, directed and performed in dozens of world premieres—both plays and solo shows. He currently teaches in UCLA’s Graduate Acting Program, and the AMDA Conservatory, Hollywood, and coaches voice and dialects for such clients as Patricia Arquette, Neve Campbell, David Duchovny, Mariska Hargitay, James Purefoy, Alicia Silverstone, and Sophie Turner.  

Ian Raffel

Ian is a specialist in American accents and has worked with many actors on feature films and television series. Among his assignments was coaching an American accent for Fiona Shaw in the feature film, Catch and Release. Ian received a BFA from the Drama Department of Carnegie Mellon University where he was privileged to study Speech with Edith Warman Skinner. For over 50 years, Ms. Skinner was considered to be the most influential American teacher of speech for the actor. After a stint in the American Army, Ian attended the Hebrew University of Jerusalem for graduate work in Linguistics. As an amateur philologist, he continues an avid study of the nature of language, especially etymology and linguistic history. For many years he was head of the Voice Department at the Vancouver Film Studio and on Faculty of Studio 58, Langara’s nationally recognized acting program.

The programs of the Moving Voice Institute are produced by

lbs/sq" and its programs are generously supported by 

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The Moving Voice Institute is committed to offering inclusive intercultural performance and performance teacher training that honours diverse intersectional perspectives in practice, accessibility and organization.