On Friday, I had the good fortune to attend a most stimulating event. It was a lecture entitled ‘Education and Learning through Ancient Wisdom, Humanity, Creativity and Embodiment, which will explore insights from neurology and artistic practice and how they connect.’ Through discussion and practical demonstration (with 3 recent Guildhall drama graduates) Iain McGilchrist (psychiatrist and author of The Master and his Emissary) and Patsy Rodenburg, Head of Voice at Guildhall School, addressed fundamental questions of attention, empathy and trust, decision-making and leadership, and how these function in contemporary contexts and cultures of learning. McGilchrist introduced some of his essential ideas from his book ‘The Master and his Emissary’ about the paradoxes of the two hemispheres of the brain. Iain and Patsy then entered into dialogue on related themes with demonstrations of how they become embodied in the act of speaking and realising text on stage.
This was a thrilling event, where one really had the sense of being in the presence of two great minds. The demonstrations presented a graphic illustration of how easily one can sense presence on stage, how it is created and also taken away. I urge you to read McGilchrist’s and Rodenburg’s books.