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I saw an amazing performance last month by a
saw an amazing performance last month by a recently formed New York–based troupe called the Experience Vocal Dance Company. The show involved a small group of women acting and singing operatic arias while fully engaged in executing modern-dance choreography. The performers managed to sing magnificently while doing such things as balancing on one leg in arabesque or sitting on the floor in an abdominal-taxing V-seat position. One woman sang an entire selection lying on her back with a sheet fully covering her body and face. It seems that these women were able to perform such an astounding blend of vocal and dance feats because they have been training in a newly minted performance methodology known as Integrative Performance Practice. When I expressed interest in the work, the inventor of the practice, Experience Bryon, graciously telephoned me from London, where she's currently teaching at the Central School of Speech and Drama, and talked at length about how and why she developed IPP. (And in case you're wondering, yes, Experience is her real name; she was named after her Puritan great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandmother, Experience Robinson, and is a direct descendant of the Mayflower's John Alden and Priscilla Mullins
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