At Kokyu Studio we focus on education and research. Our work is guided by the idea of a theatre laboratory where we investigate our intuitions, previous experiences and tools. It is very important for us to respect the ethos of a theatre ensemble with its members sharing their experiences, educating each other and taking responsibility for each other; an ensemble that has the potential of developing its own unique theatre language and work methodology over several years of regular practice. Training and practice are key for our studio. We try to understand them, moving between the actor’s physical training and our experience of the practice of Japanese martial arts, especially aikido. Importantly, we also focus on the voice in dynamic physical training and explore the possibilities of mutual support of movement and voice in searching for an organic whole.
The Japanese word "kokyu" in the studio's name is made up of two kanji characters. The first means calling, inviting, invoking, the second - inhaling, invoking inhalation. In aikido, Kokyu is the name of a group of techniques that translates as practicing the breath.
"Kokyu" is also the name of the training developed by Przemysław Błaszczak as part of the training path carried out in 2013–2016 at the Two Paths Studio. It is a precise structure that allows you to concentrate on movement and breathing in unity, to build concentration and strengthen the body and prepare to work with the voice.
Studio Kokyu is a place of practice where we have developed a unique and specific methodology of work shaped through our own personal research, creation of performances, and education. We are based in and work under the Grotowski Institute in Wroclaw, Poland. Our studio is a junction of well-established traditional practices: the martial art of Aikido, Jerzy Grotowski’s discoveries of physical and vocal training, polyphonic singing, returning to the source of breath, voice and movement. Our training and methodology for devising performances is intensively actor-based with a focus on building presence, global awareness and placing the actor in a state of readiness and consciousness so that their body is a key instrument of a performers’ craft. With this as a basis we work to create material and devise performances.
Our work is guided by the idea of a theatre laboratory and is led by Przemysław Błaszczak, actor, director and aikido teacher (2nd dan), who has been a practitioner in the Grotowski Institute for over 20 years. He began his professional work in acclaimed companies of Song of The Goat Theatre and Theatre ZAR and is also a certified teacher of Theodoros Terzopoulos method. In Studio Kokyu he has developed his own practice which moves between the actor's field of physical training, martial arts specifically aikido, breathing and voice techniques related to Japanese martial arts and Theodoros Terzopoulos working method. The studio also focuses specifically on vocal training led by Joanna Kurzynska a professional musician, voice teacher and researcher focused on Kristin Linklater's ``Freeing the natural voice” method.