Physical Expression and the Performing Artist

Moving Beyond the Plateau
Jerald Schwiebert
with Candace Platt
Fundamentals of movement for actors, conductors, musicians, yogis . . . and everyone else


All performers know that "tuning up the body" is necessary to maximize performance. A person's mannerisms, habitual patterns of movement, and posture can block the capacity for expression, often without the performer even noticing. Physical Expression and the Performing Artist offers an organized approach to movement for actors, conductors, dancers, singers, musicians—for performers of any kind.

Capturing the energy of the popular workshops presented by master movement teacher Jerald Schwiebert, the book draws from the wisdom of hatha yoga, tai chi, and Pilates as well as from the teachings of Stanislavski, Structural Integration (Rolfing), Alexander, Feldenkrais, and Laban to provide a fresh and accessible approach to movement. More than 300 anatomical drawings help readers pinpoint specific muscles, joints, and actions as they explore the capacity of the performer's physical instrument, the components of dynamic movement, and the anatomy of expression. The book's many detailed exercises bring awareness of habitual and inefficient movement and introduce the steps necessary for more efficient movement patterns in all parts of the body. This book will prove indispensable in movement courses and as a resource guide for professionals seeking to take their performances to the next level.

"A very valuable teaching tool for professors of acting, theater, singing, voice, movement for actors, conducting, and dance kinesiology. Accessible and fresh, there is no other movement-based book for performers that looks so carefully at balance and body-mapping."
—Sarah Barker, University of South Carolina

"Schwiebert's approach has revolutionized my conducting technique. His theories can be applied to every performer (actor, dancer, singer, instrumentalist, or conductor) who has a body."
—Douglas Kinney Frost, Director of Music, Syracuse Opera

Front cover photo © ThreeArt/

Jerald Schwiebert is a director and performance coach who has led workshops for Conductors Guild, the College Band Directors National Association, Dance America, the National Association of Health Education Centers, and yoga and massage therapy associations, among other groups. His directing credits include productions at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the Intiman Theatre, Syracuse Opera, and various U.S. universities. He is on the faculty of the School of Music, Theatre and Dance at the University of Michigan. 

Candace Platt is a writer living in Chelsea, Michigan.

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Table of Contents

Product Details

  • 8.5 x 11.
  • 216pp.
  • 299 illustrations.
Available for sale worldwide

  • Paper
  • 2011
  • Available
  • 978-0-472-03416-1

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  • $41.95 U.S.